We explain what a community is and what its characteristics are. In addition, the types of communities and the Max Weber approach.
What is community?
A community is a group of individuals, whether human or animal , who have in common various elements, such as the territory they inhabit, tasks, values , roles, language or religion.
It also happens that people group together for having the same goal to achieve and are characterized by spontaneously and not voluntarily, as with societies .
A community, in ecology , refers to the set of living beings that inhabit a certain habitat. An example would be the community of a plateau , which is composed of all those fungi, plants, animals and bacteria that develop there.
Communities can be shaped around different elements in common , which are what make up the identity of it, which is why we can talk about various types of communities.
Some sciences that come to this term are:
- Cultural anthropology
Characteristics of a community
The characteristics that the communities possess are:
- Coexistence. The coexistence of its members in the same geographical area.
- Language. The language in common, which allows understanding.
- Culture. That is, the members share the same communal values (the stipulations that demarcate what is allowed and what is not within the community), the same customs, the same worldview and a stable education that transmits from generation to generation all of it.
In a larger society that contains it, it should be noted that communities are always in contact with other social groups with which they interact.
Types of communities
- Scientific community. This term refers to the body of scientists as a whole, taking into account the links and interactions that exist between its members. The ties between the scientific community do not depend on working or not together, but on the links that are established from exchanges of ideas, research or hypothesis through published research, congresses or specialized journals.
- Religious community. It refers to those links that are established between people who, through a common life, try to reach some religious goal such as Protestants, missionaries, Anglicanism or Catholicism. This term is also used to refer to those groups of people who profess other religions.
- Educative community. These are made up of those people who affect, are part of or are influenced by the educational environment , be it that of a university, college or kindergarten. Within the educational community you can include the institution’s authorities, teachers , students, alumni, neighbors, cleaning staff, among others.
- Rural community. As the name implies, it is composed of those individuals who live and carry out their activities in the countryside, far from the city . As a result, its main activities are agriculture and livestock and where the industry is not something developed. Generally, the provision of services such as lighting, drinking water , electricity or cleaning is usually scarce, so life there is more precarious than in cities .
- Biological community. These are composed of those plants, fungi and animals that live in the same ecosystem . Within this, human beings are also included .
«Community» according to Max Weber
The classic concept of what a “community” is offered by the sociologist and historian Max Weber, who defines it as: “(…) a social relationship when and to the extent that it is inspired by subjective (affective or traditional) feeling ) of the participants of constituting a whole ”. The Methodology of Social Sciences, The Free Press, N. York, 1949. Page 40.
This traditional point of view of the political study argues that the ties of the community are fundamentally based on the rationality that each participant has and exercises for himself, and on which he collaborates to unify and act in an associated way to achieve a goal in common.
The impulses that motivate socially-acting people are bonds of positive affective feelings and respect for the established traditions of the community to which they belong.
On the other hand, this definition is in total opposition to the concept of “struggle” , we can then say that Max Weber believes that in a community, collaboration prevails over struggle, particular interests and competition.