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A community of interest gathers at Stonehenge, England, for the summer solstice.

A community is a small or large social unit (a group of living things) that has something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity. Communities often share a sense of place that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a country, village, town, or neighborhood) or in virtual space through communication platforms. Durable relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties also define a sense of community. People tend to define those social ties as important to their identity, practice, and roles in social institutions (such as family, home, work, government, society, or humanity at-large).[need quotation to verify] Although communities are usually small relative to personal social ties (micro-level), "community" may also refer to large group affiliations (or macro-level), such as national communities, international communities, and virtual communities.

The English-language word "community" derives from the Old French comuneté, which comes from the Latin communitas "community", "public spirit" (from Latin communis, "shared in common").

Human communities may share intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, and risks in common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Selected article

Sense of community (or psychological sense of community) is a concept in social psychology (or more narrowly, in community psychology), which focuses on the experience of community rather than its structure, formation, setting, or other features. Sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, and others have theorized about and carried out empirical research on community, but the psychological approach asks questions about the individual's perception, understanding, attitudes, feelings, etc. about community and his or her relationship to it and to others' participation - indeed to the complete, multifaceted community experience. Read more...

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Did you know...

  • ...that according to the McMillan & Chavis theory, there are four basic elements to the sense of community: membership, influence, fulfillment of needs and a shared emotional connection? Read more...
  • ...that in the 1970s and 1980s, community development became a part of "Integrated Rural Development", a strategy promoted by United Nations Agencies and the World Bank? Read more...
  • ...that Pierre Bourdieu in his book The Forms of Capital (1986) defines social capital as "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition"? Read more...

Community topics

The List of community topics contains a broad listing of Wikipedia articles about community. Here are some highlights:

Community kinds

Community, the human community:

  • World Community, the global aspects of community from the perspective of governance and the humanities
  • Global village, the global aspects of community from the perspective of telecommunications

Academic topics

Academic articles:Organizational learning | Computational sociology | Organizational Development | Collectivist and Individualist cultures | Community development | Community psychology | Sense of community

Community principles: Meritocracy | Communitarianism | Collectivism | Affinity

Web resources

Types of communities

Online community

Related portals

Community news

Wikimedia launches new "incubator".

Selected biography

Ferdinand Tönnies (1855 - 1936), was a German sociologist best known for describing two distinguishable types of social groups — Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Gemeinschaft — often translated as community — refers to groupings based on a feeling of togetherness. Gesellschaft — often translated as society — on the other hand, refers to groups that are sustained by an instrumental goal. Gemeinschaft may by exemplified by a family or a neighbourhood; Gesellschaft by a joint-stock company or a state.


"...Only the purpose of a coherent community, fully alive both in the world and in the minds of its members, can carry us beyond fragmentation, contradiction, and negativity, teaching us to preserve, not in opposition but in affirmation and affection, all things needful to make us glad to live." Wendell Berry - from a speech titled The Purpose of a Coherent Community delivered on September 29, 2004 to the National Preservation Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation at Louisville, Kentucky - USA

Community lists


Community • Top-level Category


Things you can do

Community has been nominated as a "Good article"

Portal queue and archive

Community development

Community development is the study and practice of building and understanding how communities work (or fail to work). From neighborhoods to ecovillages, the idea of community is an important aspect of society in every part of the Global village and within the World Community.

Take a look at Community development section of the main Community article and at the main article, Community development to learn more.

Some other articles: Saguaro Seminar, Bowling Alone, General Social Survey, Grassroots movement


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Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources



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