Community development, often linked with Community Work or Community Planning, is often formally conducted by non-government organizations (NGOs), universities or government agencies to improve the social well-being of local, regional and, sometimes, national communities.
Western cultures are thus said to be losing the spirit of community that once were found in institutions including churches and community centers.
The word community is derived from the Latin communitas (meaning the same), which is in turn derived from communis, which means "common, public, shared by all or many.
Infants encounter first their immediate family, then extended family, and then local community (such as school and work).
Community development practitioners must understand both how to work with individuals and how to affect communities' positions within the context of larger social institutions.
Karl Marx and conflict theorists believed there to be a perpetual struggle among groups within a community.
Following from this field is cross-cultural studies, which look at the differences in culture or community structure across different communities.
Community service is usually performed in connection with a nonprofit organization, but it may also be undertaken under the auspices of government, one or more businesses, or by individuals.
Maintaining a consistent community feel across offices is a challenge to many of these global businesses, which many attempt to solve through global connectivity events and the dissemination of strict memoranda on company values.
Community can take many forms, from the intimacy of the family in the home, to the wide-ranging international community of multinational corporations, and to the virtual world of the internet.
Some big cats, such as tigers and leopards, tend to be solitary animals, eschewing community for solitary hunting.
The community then takes on a life of its own, as people become free enough to share and secure enough to get along.
A virtual community is a group of people primarily or initially communicating or interacting with each other by means of information technologies, typically over the Internet, rather than in person.
Community and its features are central to anthropological research.
Sociologist Ray Oldenburg states in The Great Good Place that people need three places: 1) The home, 2) the office, and, 3) the community hangout or gathering place.
The process of learning to adopt the behavior patterns of the community is called socialization.
Possibly the most common usage of the word "community" indicates a large group living in close proximity.
Communities are nested; one community can contain another—for example a geographic community may contain a number of ethnic communities.
Peck believes that the process of "conscious community building" is a process of building a shared story, and consensual decision making, built upon respect for all individuals and inclusivity of difference.
The question of priority, whether for the individual or community, must be determined in dealing with pressing ethical questions about a variety of social issues, such as health care, abortion, multiculturalism, and hate speech.
A common example is a "professional community" is a group of people with the same or related occupations.
German sociologist Ferdinand Tцnnies presented a concise differentiation between the terms "community" (Gemeinschaft) and "society" (Gesellschaft).
Less formal efforts, called community building or community organizing, seek to empower individuals and groups of people by providing them with the skills they need to effect change in their own communities.
A community is a social group sharing an environment, normally with shared interests.
Psychologists also study why community is necessary to people.