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The Loss of Community: An Empirical Test Through Replication

Albert Hunter
American Sociological Review
Vol. 40, No. 5 (Oct., 1975), pp. 537-552
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094194
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Loss of Community: An Empirical Test Through Replication
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Abstract

This survey and field observation study replicates Donald Foley's Neighbors or Urbanites? (1952) in the same urban neighborhood twenty-five years later to test the dynamic hypothesized "loss of community" in urban life. Three indexes reflecting three dimensions of community were explored. "Local facility use" declined, "informal neighboring" showed no change, while "sense of community" increased. The latter two did not decline because the area has attracted residents who economically and ideologically "value" the changes which have occurred in the area and the resulting "ecological niche" which the area has come to occupy. It is middle-class, racially integrated and urban. Residents have consciously sought out this area because of these characteristics and have consciously attempted to create community in part through an active local community organization. Drawing upon Mannheim's distinction between utopia and ideology, the area is defined as a consciously created "ideological community."

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