The Changing Community

The Changing Community

The Changing Community

The Changing Community

Excerpt

Some years ago, Graham Wallis coined the term "The Great Society" to describe the new era of human relations that grew out of machine communication. The concept proved to be illuminating and brought new insight into and understanding of society as a vast network of intercommunication that linked into a whole, the local community, the national state, and the world of international social forces. It began to appear as if a world unity would replace the ancient ties of locality.

In the present book, Professor Zimmerman has helped us to refocus our attention on the small community. He supplies us with a series of case histories or detailed descriptions of specific communities in Asia, England, the Canadian prairie provinces, New England, the South and the Middle West. These realistic studies reveal the individuality of these towns and suggest the idea that local communities, like people, possess personalities that are an expression of both internal structure and of the surrounding and larger environment. In an era of growing nationalism, the demonstration that localisms and localistic factors possess great tenacity is a contribution to objective thought. This emphasis also has significance at a time when much attention is directed to the subject of regionalism and regional planning. It may be that the "forgotten man" factor in our social order is "the local community" quite as much as "the anonymous individual" of recent study. Far from being a static and rigid structure, the local community is capable of change and exhibits in its life cycle of development, growth and decay, a phenomenon that the title of this book describes.

F. STUART CHAPIN

Minneapolis, Minnesota, October, 1938.

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