change, modernity, community

Excellent Quiz from Kieran Healy’s weblog.

Much of the liturature on communities argues that modernity is at fault for distroying lots of communities. On the one hand I agree with whole heartedly. Modern life, particularly technological progress, thrives on tearing down the boundries between niches. This often lays waste to the communities that reside inside those bubbles. Modern life is for ever serving up great displacements. These days the nostolgic refugee lives in us all.

On the other hand I’d argue that, like cities, modern technology has allowed numerous communities of common interest to come into being that previously could never achieve sufficent scale to thrive. The modern mega-city offers a community for any enthusiasm. The internet’s only made your options richer still.

The frameworks of modern life, like cities, allow you to reside in dozens of communities. They free you from being dependent on a single community for the entire range of goods and services that constitute your life. This diversified portfolio of communities appears to provide some compensation for the extremely high probablity that modern life will displace you from any particular one of the communties you life inside.

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