Discussion Forum: Community
Updated: Jan 31
There are, it seems to me, three ways people can think about community these days. They can worry that it is missing in modern, atomized society; they can feel that there are still vibrant communities that have just shifted from physical to cyber space; or they can thank their lucky stars that they escaped the oppressive, always-in-your-business, small-town community that has been the norm in other times and places.
Robert Putnam, in Bowling Alone, and Sebastian Junger, in Tribe, take the first view. The Pew Research Center suggests that many Americans take the second; and books like Lake Wobegon Days and blogs like this one deal with the freedom of moving away.
So which group do you fall into? What is a community? What functions do communities fulfill in society and in individual lives? Are those functions ever in conflict with each other? Are communities in America and other developed nations healthy or not? If not, how could we improve, and what sacrifices or adjustments would we have to make to have better ones? Be communal: join in!