The word ‘community’ is used, and abused, in several ways. I would like to define the word ‘community’ and later on I would define the community work, particularly my own experience of working with South Asian community for last twenty years. I would also incorporate various other theories, academic work on this issue. The realistic definition of ‘community’ as a working idea related to peoples’ residence, employment, leisure patterns, and to services provided by central and local government agencies. There are five usage of word community.
(1) Community is often loosely and emotively employed as an imprecise synonym for society. This usage is often employed by politicians or by others making political addresses who want to emphasise the mutuality and sense of obligation of all members of a political unit over some issue. For example, “The community has a duty to ensure that the rights of the poor should be looked after. Such use of community by the politicians or others is imprecise, misleading and to be avoided.
(2) Community is used to designate a category of people who do share certain characteristics but who also have many differences from one another. Instances of quite different types are: the Catholic community (or Jewish, Protestant, Moslem or any other religion), the Black community (or white, coloured, etc.), the Italian, Irish, Asian or West Indian community-meaning a set of people from those countries living in another. Such usage has some validity, but only if it is clearly limited by precise qualifications when we use the term. It can be dangerous and can be used in a chauvinistic and disruptive way which stimulate aggression by one group of people against others, and the history of war propaganda is replete with such instances.
(3) Community may be used with very wide geographical and political reference. For examples: The European Economic Community, Coal and Steel Community.