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Title: Community as a documentary reality : a case study of Newtown South Aston, Birmingham
Author: Jones, Kathryn Lucille
ISNI:       0000 0004 2695 5227
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis is a three part investigation into the methodological assumptions employed by professionals undertaking profiles of `community'. It is based on a case study of Newtown South Aston in Birmingham, an area awarded City Challenge funding in 1992. Part one addresses theoretical issues. It looks at the methodological framework of community theorising and argues that there is a paradigmatic crisis in the study and definition of community. Part two then summarises much of the documentary evidence collected and analysed in the course of this research.I t asks the key question-: "What assumptions are made in order to produce accounts of community?". These assumption are identified as is the type of evidence used to describe the area. It is suggested that the content of documents relating to Newtown South Aston were directly influenced the regeneration programme. The significant `source' document is identified and is subjected to a rhetorical analysis. It is concluded that the organisations working in Newtown South Aston are playing a rhetorical game, using core assumptions and ideas about `what community is' and `what community development' is in order to gain funding. The thesis then turns its attention to answering the question-: "What might the implications of these assumptions be? ". Using Winstanley's Stakeholder Power Matrix, the rhetoric of empowerment in the `source' document is put to the test. It is concluded that rhetoric is not matched in reality. It is proposed that in fact there is a `short-circuiting' of the theory and understanding of `community'. Part two concludes that the paradigmatic crisis in the theoretical literature is being matched in `real life'. The final part of this thesis presents a new paradigmatic framework for the understanding of community. Using the argument presented in Alan Macfarlane's "The Origins Of English Individualism" it is suggested that the concept of community has been misunderstood by many contemporary sociologists. It is concluded that the concept of community must be revisited in light of this argument. Finally attention is turned to identifying the relevance this thesis has for the information profession.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available