Broadly speaking, community is defined by sharing and interaction. To be part of a community is to share histories and opinions, flaws and triumphs. No matter how much you might consider yourself to be apart from any easily defined community, there is no escaping the vast influence that community and communities have upon your life. Here are 4 places where community is especially fundamental.
The Soccer Stadium
No sport has seen the cultivation of community spirit quite like the game of soccer. Around the world, communities gather and organize in unbelievable cohesion around their chosen team. Some teams have developed communities based around political comradery. The German team FC St Pauli, for instance, has gathered a community of left wing supporters around it. These supporters are known for valuing the community of the club more than the results on the soccer pitch. They gang together to fight fascism, raise money for charity and create an inclusive environment.
In a perfect world all sports would primarily revolve around community. Soccer has been inseparable from community identity since it first started spreading around the world in the late 1800’s.
Senior Living Environments
Growing old can be a mightily scary experience. Community really helps people feel at home when they have been displaced from their ordinary lives by deteriorating health. A sense of cohesive societal interaction is absolutely crucial for people who have chosen to rehome themselves amongst people their own age.
For example, advisors from Bel Air assisted living in Bel Air say that one of the biggest factors in choosing an assisted living community is the overall community feel and connection to other residents.
Some communities are especially reliant upon groups of likeminded peers after they retire. Veterans, for instance, will often try and retire into communities made up of other veterans. It is with their peers that they can share their experiences and form strong bonds without judgement.
The Punk Concert
Punk music has more to do with community than it does music. It is a powerful glue that holds together groups of young people disenfranchised by the fractious and capital orientated world. The clothing, music and identifying features of almost every youth subculture over the years have served entirely as community building catalysts. Like hippies and teddy boys before them, the punks of the late 20th Century used aesthetic cultural markers to indicate their revulsion with the status quo.
Almost all of our public interactions are guided by our complex understanding of the community to which we belong – or choose to reject. The streets of every city on this planet are crafted by inclusion and exclusion. The architecture of the street – with its impenetrable boundaries between private and public – is based on the limits of our community cohesion. The unspoken laws of interaction that govern the movement of people on the street are community markers. The groupings, dislocations and collisions of people are an ever-present reminder of the ways in which community guides movement and interaction.