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PART II Community development and community action

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The nature of a communityCommunity’ may seem to be a fairly vague idea. In a well-known article, Hillery identified 94 different definitions of the term. ‘All the definitions deal with people. Beyond this common basis, there is no agreement.’ 1 Much of the scepticism about the idea of community has arisen because early ideas about it were tied to an idealised model, based on social relations in a local neighbourhood. Many of the definitions of community considered and rejected by Stacey in the 1960s were territorial; she argued for a focus on a ‘local

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29 THREE Community development Community development has always been vulnerable to criticism that it is a term that is both vague and pretentious – claiming too much. Let us begin by taking two examples of how community development tackles local issues: • A community association based in an urban neighbourhood negotiates with the local authority to have a local refuse tip closed because of evidence of leaking gases. The tip is filled in, grassed over and becomes a small environmental park. It is owned by the local authority but is maintained and serviced

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PART I Understanding community work and yourself

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Stories of Migration, Displacement and Solidarities
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Issues of displacement and dispossession have become defining characteristics of a globalised 21st century. People are moving within and across national borders, whether displaced, relocated or moving in search of better livelihoods.

This book brings theoretical understandings of migration and displacement together with empirical illustrations of the creative, cultural ways in which communities reflect upon their experiences of change, and how they respond, including through poetry and story-telling, photography and other art forms, exploring the scope for building communities of solidarity and social justice.

The concluding chapters identify potential implications for policy and professional practice to promote communities of solidarity, addressing the structural causes of widening inequalities, taking account of different interests, including those related to social class, gender, ethnicity, age, ability and faith.

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125 SEVEN The slippery concept of ‘community’, both locally and transnationally The concept of ‘community’ has long been contested, as Stacey pointed out, way back in 1969. Having identified 94 different usages, it was doubtful, in her view, as to ‘whether the concept “community” refers to a useful abstraction at all’ (Stacey, 1969, p 134). But this inherent ambiguity does not seem to have inhibited its use. On the contrary, such slipperiness may have constituted part of its charm for those concerned with developing public policies, sprayed with community’s

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15 Part Two Community histories

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PART IV Specialist community work and advanced practice

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A Practical Guide

The sixth, fully updated edition of this bestselling guide links the theory and practice of community work in an insightful and relatable read for students and practitioners alike. With an accessible style, experienced author Alan Twelvetrees sets out the realities of practice in everyday community development (CD) work.

With a much-expanded section on specialist community work, the guide also features brand new sections on work in health, housing, with children, young people and those with disabilities and the changing role of IT, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition features:

• clear ‘how to’ guides for a variety of CD-related practice;

• case studies;

• end of chapter discussion points;

• signposts to digital resources;

• glossary.

This classic text provides a comprehensive overview of the knowledge required to work in community practice in the UK and is essential for anyone studying or working in the field.

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Some stories Ernie was a social housing resident who, with Alan’s assistance as a paid community worker, set up a local Age Concern group. Ernie had many valuable skills and positive qualities. He was sociable and did odd jobs in local people’s homes. He chaired the group with both humour and a good grasp of detail. At one large public meeting, Ivor, a rather large gentleman, talked a lot from the back of the room and would not stop. Ernie, who was very short and thin, stood up and said: “Ivor, if you don’t shut up, I will come and sit on yer.” After the

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