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Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World

Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World


The Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World explores the topic at the heart of social initiatives and academic endeavors from around the world.


Community, a subject that lies at the heart of dozens of social initiatives and academic endeavors, has at last been explored in a resource large enough to encompass its variety and complexity. The Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World is the creation of a global team, led by senior academic editor Karen Christensen of Berkshire Publishing Group, of nearly 400 scholars and professionals. The encyclopedia captures the fullness of our deep and contradictory responses to community, drawing on the work of historians, sociologists, anthropologists, town planners, and experts from a variety of other disciplines and some twenty countries. This publication was developed for SAGE Reference by Berkshire.

Additional information


David H. Levinson, Human Relations Area Files, Yale University, Robin Jarrett, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Dennis R. Judd, University of Illinois, Chicago, William Metcalf, Griffith University, Roberta Moudry, Cornell University, Ray Oldenburg, University of West Florida, Sonya Salamon, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Thomas H. Sander, Harvard University, Michael H. Shuman, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Barry Wellman, University of Toronto, Michael Zuckerman, University of Pennsylvania

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  1. Choice: March 2004

    Incredibly, this is the first encyclopedia to focus on community as concept and experience, so stands alone in its field as the one title any library must buy to cover this topic. It does not concern itself only with alternative or intentional communities, as readers might expect. The “Reader’s Guide” in volume 1 classifies entries under 20 categories (many under more than one) that indicate the work’s broad scope-e.g., “Activism and Social Transformation,” “Biographies”, “Communities, Affinity,” “Communities, Primordial,” “Internet and Communities,” “Rural Life,” “Social Capital,” “Urban and Suburban Life.” Volume 1 also lists entries alphabetically along with the numerous sidebars that dot the volumes (e.g., “Virtual Visits to International Communities in Russia and Eastern Europe” with the entry, “International Communities in Russia and Eastern Europe”). Lists of further readings follow entries. An appendix, “Resource Guides,” repeated at the end of each volume, includes lists of relevant organizations, books and Web sites, and journals for selected topics. Volume 4 has the index for the set and appendixes, “Libraries Build Community” (the library as meeting place, community bulletin board center, and provider of information resources on health, employment, and other subjects that build community); “Community in Popular Culture” (an annotated list of fiction and nonfiction, plays, movies, television and radio programs, and music); and an invaluable “Master Bibliography of Community: (p. 1611-1734). The scope sprawls, and some information in the appendixes is overly repetitious, but the overall level of work far outweighs these reservations. Summing up: Essential. All readerships.

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