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Critically examine the use of the term community in the 1990s The essay should be structured in such a way that it incorporates reference to Social Policy Legislation and practice issues Students will be required to make use of theoretical studies particularly from relevant academic and other sources such as books journals and relevant publications The meaning of community is a tricky one It is used in many different contexts and is a concept that means very different things to different people A useful starting point is in the book Keywords by Raymond Williams His research on the word community indicates that it has been part of English language since the 14th century originally used to refer to the common people as opposed to those of rank or to state or organised society By the 16th century it was used to refer to the quality of having something in common and to a sense of common identity and characteristics In time Community also came to refer to a particular quality of relationship as well as a distinction between community and civil society on one hand and the state on the other There are many different types of community and the word is very ambiguous but it is possible to distinguish between several types according to their contrasting features and characteristics such as density of their social networks the degree of their openness and their duration Sociologically it is usually taken to mean people who live in a common geographical area or it can be defined in terms of common interest It implies some kind of association perhaps even sharing and participation in common relationships It is in these shared characteristics which bind people together where we start to understand the term and its implications although even within sociology community takes many different forms In 1995 researcher Hillery found 94 sociological definitions and the only common
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