[Air-l] Re: Company vs. Community

john.white john.white at wku.edu
Mon Dec 17 08:49:33 PST 2001


This may be a silly question, but I've been wondering what the difference 
between community and culture might be.  Culture, particularly organizational 
culture, can be defined as a shared pattern of beliefs (see Schein 1985 and 
others).  It seems to me that community, at least from what I've seen here, is 
similarly defined?

--JW

Andrew Perrin wrote:

> Hmmm - well, the concept of 'community' certainly is a very hot one, and
> one for which no widely-accepted definition
> exists. "Communitarians" (e.g., Amitai Etzioni and others, probably
> including Robert Putnam) would probably exclude companies from their idea
> of "community," but it's never clear exactly why; they seem to see
> community as being a sort of nostalgic, small-town thing. There are of
> course lots of other uses of the word: "community" as physical social
> space (as in "Welcome to the community of Chapel Hill"), "community" as
> social-but-not-physical space (online communities), "community" as
> identity-based interaction (the Catholic community, the African-American
> community), and "community" as an opt-in, opt-out sort of group (as in
> administrators' references to "the college community" or "utopian
> communities").
> 
> All of these do seem to belong to the "third sector" (non-market,
> non-state), and that does suggest that there's something about community
> that separates it from companies. But then you have to wonder whether
> company towns (e.g., Levittown) can't really be "communities."
> 
> All of this, I suppose, is just to suggest that your student probably
> won't find many pat answers in the research on "community".
> 
> ap
> 
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andrew J Perrin - andrew_perrin at unc.edu - http://www.unc.edu/~aperrin
>  Assistant Professor of Sociology, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
>       269 Hamilton Hall, CB#3210, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210 USA
> 
> 
> 
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