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This introduction describes the target audience for the book. The book is intended for community workers – professionals working in many different disciplines; working, for example, in practice linked to adult learning, youth work and community development, in the disciplines of health, social work, planning, environment and education. It is intended for people at all stages of practice, be they students, more experienced colleagues or leaders in their field. We have chosen to produce a wide-ranging text to introduce theory across a broad scope and field of practice. Our purpose is to stimulate interest across the profession in using theory and linking it to practice. This attention to a field of practice has resulted in a choice of theorists to include in this book, which is somewhat idiosyncratic. We have selected largely ideas to discuss rather than theorists to present and have tried to choose authors who we consider to be or who are becoming significant to the field.

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