Sociology | The Community
S309 | 4731 | E. Perry


Life happens in communities.

If we have not found community in our lives, then you can be sure we
are looking for it.

In this course, our goal is to better understand the structure and
dynamics of communities.  Today, we experience various forms and
flavors of community in all kinds of different ways.  It's not
surprising, then, that the concept of community continues to attract
the attention of sociologists.

We are going to explore the sociology of community life from the
Amish farmstead to the ghetto.  We'll attempt to address some of the
BIG, EXCITING questions about the sociology of community life
through the minds of social theorists, an in-depth examination of a
flooded coal-mining town, studies of the misery and harmony of urban
life, and projects with Bloomington community organizations.

	Why are people attached to community?
	How and why do communities change?
	What does an ideal community look like?
	What makes neighborhoods work?
	What brings communities into conflict?



	How does community help us better understand the dynamics of
urban poverty and inequality?
	What is really going on in "the streets?"  What is the
connection between communities and crime?
	Why are folks residentially segregated, suburbanized and
gentrified?
	Is modern technology supporting the development of virtual
communities- communities not attached to a particular place?
	Is community disappearing (as some scholars suggest) or
changing form?
	What happens when individual rights and community needs are
in conflict?

You are already a community expert.  I invite you to share your
expertise.

Idealists, pessimists, romantics and realists are all welcome!