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Exploring the idea of Community

Date: 7/30/2012

Last week John Turack explored the meaning of community development.  This week Liesel Dreisbach, Senior Extension Educator with Penn State Extension’s Ag Entrepreneurship/Economic and Community Development Team takes a look at an even more fundamental idea, that of community.

Seven or eight years ago a history professor at one of our state universities asked her students to define "community."  Someone waved his cell phone and said, "This is my community."

Our communities have certainly expanded beyond brick and mortar neighborhoods.  What happens if your house burns?  In a brick and mortar neighborhood all the neighbors pitch in to help that family recover.  Can a phone or Facebook community do the same? Living near each other, many people could check with the family each day to see how they were coping.

Last year I experienced this very situation.  Among my Facebook friends are many of the students I taught years ago in a small school in South Jersey.  One day one of those former students posted photos and news that he had escaped his house safely when it burned to the ground overnight. 


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