Communities – The Critical Question

“A sense of connection is the most important aspect of a community,” Agree or disagree?

I personally believe that a sense of connection is a necessary part of a community, although it is not, in my opinion, the most important. The more significant factors of a community are undoubtedly the living necessities, required to keep us alive, these being food, water and a potential place to live.

I believe that these necessities are notably more important than a sense of connection. A community should be comfortable and safe, where there is a sustainable source of food or water. If this were to be reversed, with an unreliable source of food, the sense of insecurity would grow and I definitely value a sense of security highly within a community.

I also believe that there are other aspects can also be of higher importance. My opinion was influenced by our β€˜What is a Community?’ lesson, where we ranked, in our opinion, aspects in order of the most importance. Several other points include a stable government. This once again related back to the idea of security and a sense of safety, which I value over connection.

However, after considering my own opinions, I find it important to consider other possibilities. A sense of connection itself has been an idea proposed or supported by several authors, these being Seymour M. Sarason, McMillan and Chavis and well as Mr. Gusfield. Each have their own theories, but in one way or another they imply a sense of connection as a necessary aspect.

In addition to this, a sense of connection brings with it a sense of belonging and home. Without it residents can feel isolated, which I can relate to after my experience in Bangkok living in a small apartment in the midst of more buildings. However, knowing locals or a friend in the area definitely improves the general experience, therefore I value a sense of connection.

To conclude, I value differing opinions, although I myself believe that other principles contribute and structure a safer community in other ways, with a sense of connection appearing further down on the list. Despite this, a sense of connection still plays a vital part in the structure of a community.


5 responses to “Communities – The Critical Question

  1. Great job Connie! πŸ˜€ A very strong argument, and a good use of references to what we did at school. I can see that you have also done your research!
    Maybe you could include some examples of where not having the living necessities, as you mentioned, potentially has a negative affect on communities.
    I like how you have tried to see things from both sides, it makes a very respectable argument!
    Good job πŸ˜€
    – Eleni

  2. Hi Connie
    A succinct response. You present a clear and logical position. There is potential for more discussion in your answer, for example you could have elaborated on the wisdom of the authors that you mentioned. Also it is hoped that you will use the evidence that you gathered in the community to support your answer. I did like your reference to the What is Community lesson.
    Here is the location of the rubric we use when assessing the critical questions:

    Coherence of argument: level 1 of 2
    Use of evidence: level 1 of 2
    Further Research: level 1 of 1
    Multiple Perspectives: level 1 of 2
    Critical Thinking: level 0 of 1
    Expression & language use: 1 level of 1

    jane πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Connie – I’m one of the authors of a blog post you referenced (

    I thought I’d leave a note, and some of my own assessment. You’re right that things like shelter and food, as well as other items in the bottom tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs ('s_hierarchy_of_needs) are necessary for communities. However, it’s the individuals in the community that need these things, not the communities themselves.

    Communities can absolutely exist without shelter and food – online communities are just one example, and professional communities are another.

    Individuals without access to the bottom tiers of needs struggle to contribute to communities because they struggle to take care of themselves, first. It’s borderline irresponsible to ask someone to give to their community – even if they genuinely care about that community – who cannot first take care of themselves.

    In terms of ALL resources – from shelter to “self-actualization”, communities provide an environment where the sum of the available resources is greater than the parts brought together by the individuals.

    From my research, that’s the fundamental difference between a group of people who occupy “space” together, be it a workspace, a neighborhood, a business or an industry, and a community: a group is simply a collection of people and their own self interests, whereas a community contains people who care about each others’ interests in addition to their own.

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