Neighborhood and Community 2

1. Define “neighborhood” and “community.”

Neighborhood is a spatial notion and is used to define a smaller unit of a bigger geographical urban notion. It denotes the group of households that are situated in the geographical proximity. The notion also implies a certain degree of social cohesion between the inhabitants

Community denotes a group of people who live in the neighborhood, and have a high degree of connection (professional, ethnic, religious, social).

2. Describe your own neighborhood compared with your community(ies).

In my case, neighborhood is the geographical unity, because I do not communicate with people who live nearby if there is no objective reason for it. There are several communities in my neighborhood, and I belong to the community of college students who live near me and to the one of the neighboring sport club.

3. What does Chaskin describe as the factors leading to the decline of community?

Chaskin considers two extremes that lead to the community decline, which are poverty and further disintegration, and urbanization that weakens connections between neighbors.

4. Do you agree or disagree that “community” is in a state of decline? Support your answer.

I agree with it because modern way of life does not suppose settling down and forming the community. The level of mobility raises and the possibilities to find communities based on interests rather than on geographical location contribute to it.

5. Why is it hard to define neighborhood and/or community?

It is hard to define them because these notions are closely connected, and the distinction between them is not evident in many cases.

6. How is the health or well-being of neighborhoods or communities typically assessed? Using the liabilities of the community or their assets? Give examples of each.

Communities and neighborhoods are typically assessed by the level of liability. The sense of community is sacrificed to interpersonal informal communication and protection of own interests and assets. It can be illustrated by the example of preferring interests of local golf club to the charity work of the community.

7. Why is it important to try to define and understand concepts like neighborhood and community?

Understanding of these concepts gives the knowledge about the basic mechanisms that form the society. It is possible to see dynamics of social changes on the examples of neighborhoods and communities.

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