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Theory into Practice

Written by community workers from diverse contexts, this highly accessible guide equips practitioners and students working in a range of community settings to make the best use of theory in their work. The book focuses on the hope, excitement and possibilities that contemporary theory brings to practice and is essential reading for all those concerned with social justice, inclusion and equality.

Drawing on voices from across the world, influential thinking, both old and new, is applied to the practice that underpins work with individuals, groups and communities. The book will inform and enhance practice for a wide range of students and professionals working in community contexts such as community development, adult education, youth work, community health and social work.

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Context, Practices and Challenges

Neighbourhood policing has been called the ‘cornerstone of British policing’ but changing demand, pressures on funding and the cyclical nature of political support mean that this approach is under considerable pressure.

Locating neighbourhood policing in its social and political context, the book investigates whether this UK model - intended to build confidence and legitimacy - has been successful. Exploring effective policing strategies and the importance of funding and philosophical support, it concludes with an assessment of the model’s future and the challenges that it needs to overcome.

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Politics, Justice and Community in Urban Growing Projects
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Escape is an enticing idea in contemporary cities across the world. Austerity, climate breakdown and spatial stigma have led to retreatist behaviours such as gated communities, enclave urbanism and white flight. By contrast, urban community growing projects are often considered by practitioners and commentators as communal havens in a stressful cityscape.

Drawing on ethnographic research in urban growing projects in Glasgow, this book explores the spatial politics and dynamics of community, asking who benefits from such projects and how they relate to the wider city. A timely consideration of localism and community empowerment, the book sheds light on key issues of urban land use, the right to the city and the value of social connection.

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Knowledge, Care, Legitimacy
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The past three decades have seen an international ‘turn to participation’ – letting those who will be affected by neighbourhood planning outcomes play an active role in decision-making – but there is widespread dissatisfaction with actual instances of citizen-state engagement.

This innovative analysis brings theory, research and practice together and gives insights into how and why citizen voices either become effective or get excluded. Using ethnographic data to illustrate a wide range of participatory and localist governance practices and social movements, the book concludes with recommendations to re-invigorate community involvement in planning.

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Avoiding both over-simplification and jargon-riddled complexity, this book is an invaluable, straightforward guide to participatory research for you and your fellow practitioners working with community groups and organisations.

The book offers a blueprint for your research project, taking you through each stage of the process, from planning your project to disseminating your findings. Keeping in mind imperatives such as engagement, involvement and voice, the book explores how best to conduct your research in ways which are meaningful for the participants.

The book includes valuable resources such as reflection points, chapter summaries and further reading lists. It will encourage and empower practitioners to plan and execute participatory research projects with confidence.

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How do local communities effectively build peace and reconciliation before, during and after open violence? This trailblazing book gives practical examples, from the Global North, the former Soviet bloc and Global South, on communities addressing conflict in divided and contested societies.

The book draws on a range of critical perspectives and practitioner analysis. The diverse case studies demonstrate the considerable knowledge, skills, commitment, courage and relationships within local communities that a critical community development approach can support and encourage.

Concluding with activists’ perspectives on working with the challenges of violence, the book offers insights for both an understanding of the root causes of conflict and for bottom-up peacebuilding.

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Young people are often at the forefront of democratic activism, whether self-organised or supported by youth workers and community development professionals. Focusing on youth activism for greater equality, liberty and mutual care – radical democracy – this timely collection explores the movement’s impacts on community organisations and workers. Essays from the Global North and Global South cover the Black Lives Matter movement, environmental activism and the struggles of refugees.

At a time of huge global challenges, youth participation is a dynamic lens through which all community development scholars and participants can rethink their approaches.

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Community-based Action for Transformative Change

In this second edition of a bestselling book, the authors’ unique, holistic and radical perspective on participatory practice has been updated to reflect advances in thought made in the past decade, the impact of neoliberalism and austerity and the challenge of climate change. Their innovative approach bridges the divide between community development ideas and practice to offer a critical praxis.

The authors argue that transformative practice begins with everyday stories about people’s lives and that practical theory generated from these narratives is the best way to inform both policy and practice.

The book will be of interest to academics and community-based practitioners working in a range of settings, including health and education.

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The only up-to-date, accessibly written short guide to community development, this third edition offers an invaluable and authoritative introduction. Fully updated to reflect changes in policy, practice, economics and culture, it will equip readers with an understanding of the history and theory of community development, as well as practical guidance on how to do it.

This is a key text for all students and practitioners working with communities. It includes:

• a broad overview of core themes, concepts, basic practices and key issues in community development;

• an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on community life and well-being, along with the implications for longer-term community support;

• additional brand new content on the pressing issues of democratic decline, social fragmentation and isolation, social care pressures, technological developments and climate change.

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Practices, Experiences and Connections

Giving voice to the lived experiences of people with dementia across the globe, including Australia, Canada, Sweden and the UK, this critical and evidence-based collection engages with the realities of life for people living with dementia at home and within their neighbourhoods.

This insightful text addresses the fundamental social aspects of environment, including place attachment, belonging and connectivity. The chapters reveal the potential and expose the challenges for practitioners and researchers as dementia care shifts to a neighbourhood setting.

The unique ‘neighbourhood-centred’ perspective provides an innovative guide for policy and practice and calls for a new place-based culture of care and support in the neighbourhood.

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