Perspectives on Neighborhood and Community

1. Define “neighborhood” and “community.”

Community is a larger notion than neighborhood, because it implies high level of interconnections within a group of people who live in one district. A community can be united by a social, cultural, religious or professional similarity). Neighborhood denotes a geographical unity, a group of households that are situated near each other.

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

I do not feel that I belong to any community. I perceive my neighbors as people who live in the same district and who might consider my desire to communicate with them without real reason impolite. There is no community spirit in my neighborhood, the majority of people are busy at work and have interests outside of their place of living.

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

Poverty is the first factor that leads to the decline of community. People with low income do not tend to be opened for communication with neighbors and focus more on solving their problems. The second factor is high urbanization level, which supposes mobile and unsettled life style. It also does not strengthen the integration with neighbors.

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

I agree with this assumption. The contemporary life style does not correspond to the idea of shared interests based only on the geographical proximity. In addition, modern culture tends to be more individualistic, than collectivist, which also leads to the decline of communities.

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

It is hard to define a community, because it a subjective notion that changes with time and social development.

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.

The well-being of the neighborhood is usually assessed by the assets of people who live in the district. The community health is assessed by the liabilities. People in the neighborhood can be not rich, but their community can be healthy, because they as the unity help an orphanage.

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

These concepts denote the social unity, which is the base of the culture in general. The relationships in the community, the rules regarding the neighborhood reflect the changes the society undergoes.

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