Searching for community

Representation, power and action on an urban estate

Jeremy Brent

Searching for community

Jeremy Brent

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

312 pages
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781847423238 Published May 2009 For sale in North and South America only
At a time when politicians place increasing importance on the role of 'community' in overcoming social problems, 'Searching for community' asks the vital question 'what is community, anyway?'. Is it an answer to social problems or an illusion to be dismissed? This insightful book is written from the perspective of the late Jeremy Brent's thirty year involvement as a youth worker in Southmead, a housing estate in Bristol and a place where discourses of community run strong. "Searching for community" presents a variety of perspectives to challenge the ways in which areas of poverty and disrepute are represented. It examines ways to understand and engage with the troublesome concept of 'community', vividly describing the collective actions of young people and adults to show the way community is enacted as a combination of dreams, actions and materiality.Providing a unique mix of practical knowledge and a sophisticated analysis of popular, professional and theoretical ideas of community, "Searching for community" makes uneasy reading for those looking for simplistic solutions to issues including youth crime, social marginalisation and community empowerment. This accessible book is a must-read for students and practitioners in the fields of community development, sociology and youth work who wish to get beyond the rhetoric and engage with the complexities of discourses of community.
Contents
Foreword - Doug Nichols
Introduction - Richard Johnson
Four settings: contexts and questions - Jeremy Brent
Researching Southmead: problems of representation and participation - Jeremy Brent
The intelligent outsider? Official and media representations of Southmead - Jeremy Brent
Knowledge from within: community art and local representation - Jeremy Brent
The outsider within: crossing worlds - Jeremy Brent
Young people and community: trouble and tribes - Jeremy Brent
Four examples of community action in Southmead - Jeremy Brent
What is community anyway? - Jeremy Brent
Engaging with community - Jeremy Brent
Article: The smile and the arch: communicating what youth work achieves - Jeremy Brent
Postscript - Colin Brent with residents of Southmead
Further reading - Marj Mayo
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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