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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020070

Community as Story and the Dynamic Nature of Community: Perceptions, Place, and Narratives about Change

Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University, 2008 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602, USA
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Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 17 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Community and Urban Sociology)
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Abstract

We present a theoretical discussion conceptualizing “community as story”—narratives that create and recreate one’s definition of and relationship to their community. We use a variety of disciplinary sources and representative quotes to help develop the theory. In so doing, we discuss the importance of subjective perception, narrative and place to the creation of a community story. Community stories take place in time and place, and as changes to the place occur, residents are compelled to adjust their stories and definitions. These changes are reflected in narratives that reminisce about what the community was and what it is becoming. The narratives then become part of a new community story. Above and beyond our theoretical conceptualization of “community as story”, to help illustrate our arguments in an empirical setting, we present a historical narrative from interviews with residents of Vance, Alabama, home of the Mercedes-Benz plant, which discuss the changing nature of and relationship to their community after the arrival of the plant in the 1990s. View Full-Text
Keywords: community; collective behavior; social change community; collective behavior; social change
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cope, M.R.; Park, P.N.; Jackson, J.E.; Muirbrook, K.A.; Sanders, S.R.; Ward, C.; Brown, R.B. Community as Story and the Dynamic Nature of Community: Perceptions, Place, and Narratives about Change. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 70.

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