Reflect upon the important communities (other than family and friends) in your life and list them. You might consider some of the following as personal communities: Recreational club or league A work

Reflect upon the important communities (other than family and friends) in your life and list them. You might consider some of the following as personal communities:

  • Recreational club or league
  • A workplace
  • A block, neighborhood, or town where you live or once lived
  • A religious congregation or group
  • A mutual help (self-help) or other support group
  • A civic club, or group working for change in your society or community
  • The college or university you are attending
  • An Internet chat room or other on-line group

Consider why you listed each community. Consider the emotions you experience in this community. 

Review your list and determine which of these communities are:

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  • Localities? 
  • Relational communities? 
  • Microsystems? 
  • Workplaces? 
  • Other organizations? 
  • Mediating structures linking individuals to larger communities or systems? 
  • Larger populations or macrosystems? 

Now, select the community with which you most often interact outside of family and friends and assess that community using the four McMillan-Chavis elements of sense of community: Membership, influence, integration, and shared emotional connection. 

In an essay, identify your selected community and address the questions listed under each of the four elements.

Membership:

  • How is membership defined? What else do members have in common? 
  • Are there common symbols shared by members? 
  • What investment (material, emotional, other) have you made in this community? 
  • How deep is your sense of emotional safety in this community?
  • Is being a member of this group an important identity for you? How? 

Influence:

  • How does being in this community influence you as an individual?
  • How much influence do you as an individual have on this community? 
  • If you wanted to influence a decision in this community, how would you do that?

Integration:

  • How are your individual needs fulfilled in this community?
  • How do you help fulfill other members’ needs?
  • What values are shared in this community?

Shared Emotional Connection:

  • Do you feel an emotional bond with other members of the community? How?
  • What rituals, celebrations or other occasions strengthen community bonds?
  • What community narratives are shared in this community?

Length: 3-5 pages