DeFilippis, J. and Saegert, S. 2008. Communities Develop: The question is how? In: J. DeFilippis and S. Saegert, eds. _The Community Development Reader_. New York and London: Routledge, Ch. 1.

James DeFilippis is Associate Professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers. His PhD is from Rutgers is in Geography. Susan Saegert is Professor of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt Peabody College. She was recently Professor of Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center and received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. Their professed reason for compiling this reader is to provide a simultaneously critical and practice-oriented selection of readings for both scholars and practitioners alike; they see no point in discussing one and not the other. They frame their importance of communities around the discovery that community did not fade away in the transition from rural to urban capitalist environments (as the European social theorists predicted) but developed into being a vital component in the perpetuation of the overarching political economy and where new social reproduction occurs. “Community development occurs when the conditions of surviving and thriving in a place are not being supplied by capital” (5). The history and practice of community development represents the tension between the struggling communities and hopeful, democratic ones. Its goals: providing for children and adults in communities, creating equitable institutions that distribute goods/services justly, and promoting sound human interrelations that uphold and encourage social development and democratic practices.


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