Concepts and meanings of community in the social sciences: a review

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences

Abstract

The project 'Concepts and meanings of community in the social sciences' undertook to produce a conceptual review, linking theoretical underpinnings with the usage of the concepts of community in empirical research and describing the manner in which these conceptualisations appear in government and non-government sector policies and practices. The review mapped key academic texts across 9 disciplines and fields since the 1960s. It reviewed the ways in which key conceptualizations appeared in empirical articles within these fields and disciplines and also appeared within government, NGO and voluntary sector websites, where community was an explicit aspect of the organisation's brief. The review showed that while there is a sophisticated history of debate and investigation within a few key disciplines, there has been a paucity of concepts used within empirical research, applied fields and policy websites. The impact of this is to make community into a 'spray-on term', in which there is little reference to concepts but in which implicit meanings emphasize the significance of community as an object and downplay the importance of social relations and experience. The implications of this for research, policy and practice are profound: we badly need research which allows community as action to be conceptualized in ways which understand and thus support action by community members, central to the localism agenda.

Publications

10 25 50

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Studdert D (2016) Being in community: revisioning sociology in Sociological Review

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Studdert D Microsociality and Community in sociologcial review

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Studdert D community and sociology in sociological review

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Walkerdine V Microsociality, community and austerity in Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference

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Walkerdine V (2016) Affective history, working class communities and self-determination in Sociological Review

 
Title 500 miles 
Description A short video in which a specially adapted version of the Proclaimers' 500 miles was performed by a number of local residents and businesses in the streets of Abergavenny. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The Youtube version went viral, reaching a very large number of people across several countries. 
 
Title Abergavenny Voices 
Description An evening at the local Abergavenny theatre in which voices less often heard were represented. The evening included material by or about marginalised young people, care home residents, night workers. A young improvising group also created material about community/council relations and and performed a local veriosn of 'Mock the Abergavenny week'. A film created of local people singinging a specially adapted '500 miles' was screened. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Very good press coverage and feedback from a broad range of local residents. 
 
Title Llandridance 
Description Work developed by dance company for public engagement 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Change of practice of organisation 
 
Title documentary 
Description A 20 minute documentary outlining the achievements of the Performing Abergavenny project 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact It was very well received at the AHRC Connected Communities Festival Cardiff and is being distributed to Welsh agencies and local authorities. 
 
Title facebook 
Description Forgotten Abergavenny was a phenominally successful public Facebook page, which successfully brought together may local residents and those within an association with Abergavenny acorss many countries and continents. It approached local history as an aspect of community building, using artifacts such as photographs posted to the site. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The site was exceptionally successful, judging by the numbers of posts and reach of the site. Some material went viral and provided a very interesting model for how to develop community involvement in a digital way. 
 
Title mural 
Description A community mural was erected on a remaining wall of a now demolished outdoor pool in Abergavenny. The mural was designed by a local artist and was painted by local residents. It was unveiled at a community festival in the park by the leader of the local council. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Large participation by a very diverse group of residents and big newspaper write-up and a lot of praise and interest. 
 
Title pool day 
Description Picnic at the Pool was a community festival on the site of a much missed local outdoor pool. Local people were invited to bring their own picnic and free picnics were provided via a local housing association. The festival included performances by local actors, competitions and inflatable paddling pools filled by the local fire brigade. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The festival was a huge success bringing many people to the park. An ad hoc committee decided to keep the festival as a yearly event and run it themselves. 
 
Title street theatre 
Description The project Performing Abergavenny used street performance with three local actors in role as a novel way of eleciting the views of local residents about their hopes for the town and their relations with local councils. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Provided a really solid basis for understanding the views of the town in a fun way which helped to launch the project as it was performed on a saturday in the twon centre. 
 
Title treasure hunt 
Description A treasure hunt was a way of creating a town trail bringing out relatively little known aspects of the town Abergavenny in a fun way. The aim was to provide a popular form of performance of the town by walking around it and spotting clues. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The treasure hunt was well covered by local press and the result was a town trail presented to the town council for future use. 
 
Description We discovered that social science research on community has become very stilted and the field has got rather stuck, resulting in academics stopping using the term while pocy-makers continue to use it for political purposes.
The way out of this was to approach the research of community in a different way and the research put this forward.
Exploitation Route Specific use of the approach to further community development and cohesion.
Rethinking of community as an object - theoretical and methdological importance of the approach.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.abergavennycommunity.org
 
Description They have been used by local councils and community arts organisation to develop co-production approaches to cvommunity work.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description AHRC Catalyst fund
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description AHRC Connected Communities
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 06/2016
 
Description Connected Communities
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 01/2013
 
Description ESRC Impact Accelerator
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2015 
End 06/2016
 
Description ESRC Impact Accelerator
Amount £3,500 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 06/2018
 
Description ESRC Impact Accelerator
Amount £8,674 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 03/2017
 
Description Research Grant
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Public Health Wales NHS Trust 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description connected communities
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 07/2014
 
Description leverhulme trust major research fellowship
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2015
 
Title co-production 
Description using co-design and co-creation as a research method in community research 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This method is now being used in impact activities and is getting better known amongst researchers 
 
Title community co-production 
Description A method of community co-production involving joint working and meetings developed out of our research 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Use by other organisations, requests to teach the method to other organisations 
 
Description Catalyst project 
Organisation Manchester Metropolitan University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution AHRC funded Catalyst project sharing data from two porjects to develop the methodlogical and theoretical framework and enhance future co-operation
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact None yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description Catalyst project 
Organisation Unite the Union
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution AHRC funded Catalyst project sharing data from two porjects to develop the methodlogical and theoretical framework and enhance future co-operation
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact None yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description Co-producing Community Arts 
Organisation Dawns Powys Dance
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Ran Impact and engagement pilot with them
Collaborator Contribution Organised and ran impact and engagement community dance programme
Impact Guide to Co-producing Community Arts
Start Year 2015
 
Description ESRC Brexit 
Organisation Welsh Assembly
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Running ESRC Impact Accelerator on Brexit
Collaborator Contribution Supporting work and and taking part in workshop
Impact None so far
Start Year 2017
 
Description ESRC IMpact Acelerator Co-produycing community arts 
Organisation ArtWorks Cymru
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Running impact accelerator using our co-production method in community arts
Collaborator Contribution Working as national community arts organisation in using this method with their network
Impact Guide to co-production in community arts Further partnerships
Start Year 2015
 
Description Subjectivity, work and neo-liberalism in Latin America 
Organisation Diego Portales University
Department School of Psychology
Country Chile 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up a Latin American network to foster joint research, writing and publication as well as research student exchange
Collaborator Contribution joint applications for research funding, student scholarships to come to Cardiff, joint publication
Impact Special issue of the journal Subjectivity in preparationresearch grants and fellowships applied for, scholarhsip received
Start Year 2017
 
Description Subjectivity, work and neo-liberalism in Latin America 
Organisation National Autonomous University of Mexico
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up a Latin American network to foster joint research, writing and publication as well as research student exchange
Collaborator Contribution joint applications for research funding, student scholarships to come to Cardiff, joint publication
Impact Special issue of the journal Subjectivity in preparationresearch grants and fellowships applied for, scholarhsip received
Start Year 2017
 
Description Subjectivity, work and neo-liberalism in Latin America 
Organisation Pontifical Xavierian University
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up a Latin American network to foster joint research, writing and publication as well as research student exchange
Collaborator Contribution joint applications for research funding, student scholarships to come to Cardiff, joint publication
Impact Special issue of the journal Subjectivity in preparationresearch grants and fellowships applied for, scholarhsip received
Start Year 2017
 
Description Subjectivity, work and neo-liberalism in Latin America 
Organisation Sao Paulo State University
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up a Latin American network to foster joint research, writing and publication as well as research student exchange
Collaborator Contribution joint applications for research funding, student scholarships to come to Cardiff, joint publication
Impact Special issue of the journal Subjectivity in preparationresearch grants and fellowships applied for, scholarhsip received
Start Year 2017
 
Description Subjectivity, work and neo-liberalism in Latin America 
Organisation University of Colima
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up a Latin American network to foster joint research, writing and publication as well as research student exchange
Collaborator Contribution joint applications for research funding, student scholarships to come to Cardiff, joint publication
Impact Special issue of the journal Subjectivity in preparationresearch grants and fellowships applied for, scholarhsip received
Start Year 2017
 
Description Supporting the development of Colombian shoe manufacture 
Organisation Corporación Universitaria de Colombia Ideas
PI Contribution Workshops demonstrating the use of psychosocial methods in the show sector and co-production in research and engagement within this sector.
Collaborator Contribution Support via participation and locations
Impact None yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description Supporting the development of Colombian shoe manufacture 
Organisation Pontifical Xavierian University
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Workshops demonstrating the use of psychosocial methods in the show sector and co-production in research and engagement within this sector.
Collaborator Contribution Support via participation and locations
Impact None yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description abergavenny community enterprise 
Organisation Abergavenny Community Enterprise
PI Contribution community development
Collaborator Contribution provision of support, services, premises, co-operation
Impact website, film, reports, community festivals and other activities
Start Year 2012
 
Description Artworks Cymru conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Helped take the co-production method out to community arts organisations across Wales
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Brexit meetings and workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Using our co-production method with Welsh Government and local community groups, bringing them together to work on the consequences of Brexit and showing how our method can work in this, developing a method to be used across Wales.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Co-producing community development 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Using our approach to co-production to bring together the government, community professionals and members of communities to co-produce change. More formal working groups were oragnised to take the method further and the Welsh Government invited us to train their research team in the method.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview with Sputnik Radio on current research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshops with Abergavennt residents 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Led to plans for residents and third secor organisation to work together.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description bryn y cwm 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited presentation to Bryn y Cwm area of Monnmouthsire County Council, which was part of the UK Total Place initiative, which led to inclusion of research project in theri remit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description civic society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited presentation to Civic Society that resulted in increased interest and engagent in research project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description connected communities festival cardiff 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We gave two presentations about our project and had a stall. The presentations provoked huge interest and several people from various organisations contacted us afterwards and wanted to work with us.

Representatives of the Welsh government expressed a desire to continue their dialogue with us, various orgnaisations asked to know more and to potentially collaborate with us. Our stall was the most frequently visited of all the stalls at the festival and we were also selected for live screening of one of the presentations and ou stall.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description llandrindod 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Invited presentation to Artworks Cymru partnership meeting that led to two partnerships and an impact accelerator award
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description oral history day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Oral history training day with local people, helpd to create an archive of local history for the town
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description poverty day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Wales workshop og BERA Commission on Poverty and education. Ran day and devlivered keynote, as well as making a film for their website. Aimed to change views on poverty intervention and showcase co-production approaches.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description town meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a town meeting to disseminate the results of our research to local councillors both town and county. In fact we encouraged interaction between participants and councillors to good effect as the issues local people wanted to raise were eventually heard and taken seriously.

Afterwards councillors of all persuasions were very keen to collaborate with us and to support us in future work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013