Community: The Structure of Belonging (Paperback)
The expanded and revised edition of Community tackles the hysteric rise of isolation and fear in a digitally interconnected world.
As a response to the increasing violence in our culture, the widening ideological divides, and the growing gap in economic well-being, there is greater awareness that a deeper sense of community is desperately needed. But even as we acknowledge the need to build community, the dominant on-the-ground practices about how to engage people, civically and organizationally, remain essentially unchanged. We still believe community is built with better messaging, more persuasion, and social events for people to get to know each other better. All of which is naïve.
In this new edition, Block draws on a decade of putting these ideas into practice to emphasize what has worked and extract those thoughts that were nice but had no durability. He explores how technology, instead of bringing us together, has driven us into more isolation. New examples show that community building can be a more powerful way to address social problems than more traditional policies and programs. And encouragingly, Block insists this is really simple, once we decide it is essential. He offers a way of thinking that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
About the Author
Peter Block is an author, consultant, and thought-leader whose work focuses on the topics of empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. Peter is the author of several bestselling books, including Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, and The Empowered Manager. He is the recipient of the Organization Development Network's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004 he received their first place Members' Choice Award, which recognized Flawless Consulting as the most influential book for OD practitioners over the past 40 years. He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops to build the skills outlined in his books. He received a Masters Degree in Industrial Administration from Yale University and is the first Distinguished Consultant-in-Residence at Xavier University.
“This book challenges the conventional wisdom about what you and I can do as citizens to shape our future. It offers concrete examples of what citizens can do and have done by drawing on resources in their families and communities.”
—David Mathews, President, Kettering Foundation
“This book is the basis for health and happiness in any society. A must-read.”
—Quentin Young, Chairman, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, and former President, American Public Health Association
“‘What we need is here.’ That line from a Wendell Berry poem sums up the theme that runs through this vital and timely book. This book is a treasure. And it can help us recover the treasures hidden in plain sight within and among us, renewing ourselves and our democracy as we go.”
—Parker J. Palmer, founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal and author of A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to Teach
“Don’t wait for a politician, scientist, infomercial, or lottery ticket to come to the rescue. Read this powerful book and help yourself, your neighbors, and your planet to satisfying and sustainable solutions found only in community.”
—Jim Diers, former Director, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and author of Neighbor Power