THE CHANGING COMMUNITY
The social life people lead is affected by the kind of community in which they live. The community is as old as humanity-or even older, for our subhuman ancestors probably shared a community life. A community can
be defined ether as a human group (town, city, village) or as a body of sentiment (sense of commitment, loyalty) [Gottschalk, 1975, p. I8}, but there is no uniformity in the use of the term. One widely quoted definition reads: A community is a local grouping with which people carry out a full round of life a . Defined in greater detail [Hillery, 1955; Jonas sen, 1959, p. 20; Willis, 1977], a community includes (1) a grouping of people, (2) within a geographic area, (3) with a division of labor into specialized and dependent functions, (4) with a common culture and a social system which organizes their activities, (5) whose members are conscious of their unity and of belonging to the community, and (6) whose members can act collectively in an organized manner. For it to qualify as a true community, its members would need to experience all or nearly all of the culture within the community’s boundaries. This definition, however, is not uniformly followed. The t-rm is also applied to hamlets and villages with only a small duster of houses and may used to describe almost subculture or category of people, whether geographical (Hickory Comers, New York’
City) or social (the “black community,” the “community of scholars,” or the “artistic community”). whorse sociologists like neat definitions, we must admit that a “community” is any place or category of people’ that , is called tl community. . It has been traditional to classify communities as rural or urban. depending’ upon whether their populations were .small and agricultural, or larger and industrial or commercial. The classification was never entirely satisfactory, for it made no provision for the fishing village, the mining camp, the trading. post, or many other special types ‘Of communities. Modern transportation has so eroded the boundaries between city and country that we actually have’ a gradual shading of one
community into the other and not two distinct types of community.