ERIC Number: ED373366
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
From Community to Conformity.
Before unconditionally supporting the development of closer community or the restoration of a public realm, communication scholars should further reflect on the historical uses and potential threats attendant to this task. A sense of nostalgia sometimes romanticizes the Greek "polis" while sidestepping the changes wrought by population growth and the development of the mass media. One sense of community takes the grammatical form of "the community of..." representing a homogeneous community. A community based on the principle of the common good considers its members to be entitled to have a say in whatever measures might affect them. Another version of community arises from the term's roots in commonality. Community can also serve as a means of self-identification on the basis of shared circumstances. An interpretation of community often tied to gender distinguishes between public and private issues. Community can represent a danger easily overlooked if unity is always treated as benign cooperation. Richard Sennett issued a warning about the dark side of community by recalling an often-repeated slogan of the Nazism: destructive "Volksgemeinschaft." The concept of community also creates problematic discursive arrangements. Membership in communities should be reconfigured to approximate what Ludwig Wittgenstein describes as family resemblances. Rhetorical scholarship needs to reveal the grounds of associative networks among communities, even if such a task must proceed without a definite blueprint that imposes a pattern that discursively forged alliances obey. (Contains 36 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Commonality; Community Identity; Wittgenstein (Ludwig)
Note: Paper presented at the Carolinas Speech Communication Association Convention (Myrtle Beach, SC, October 1994).