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The Concept of Community: Lessons from the Bronx [Hardcover]

By Harold DeRienzo (Author)
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Item description for The Concept of Community: Lessons from the Bronx by Harold DeRienzo...

Through this book it is my sincere hope that far from providing any absolute answers to problems confronting community that I provide the conceptual tools necessary to engage in community work and appreciate the value of that work and its place in our larger society. But a more pressing dilemma presents itself - the dilemma that community, as a valid and meaningful social construct, is losing relevance. Community represents the best of what people can accomplish when they work together. But in practice, community is irreconcilable with prevailing economic, political and social trends. When I was younger, I believed that it was possible to develop a political framework and from that political framework could and would emerge the complementary and supportive social and civic institutions necessary to support, protect and evolve that framework. I have come to believe that politics, institutional arrangements, and social organization instead follow from the dominant economy. As such, in an economy dominated by attributes dependent upon a pliant, mobile workforce, there is little practical tolerance for social organization beyond the individual, the family and church groups. It is my sincere hope that this book serves as a wake-up call to the valuable attributes of community as a social construct, but also how community is a necessary predicate to popular democracy - the preservation of which should represent a cause that we treat as a valuable legacy, instead of an underlying social circumstance we all take for granted while all its meaning and relevance is slowly being dismantled.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IPOC di Pietro Condemi
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 19, 2008
Publisher   IPOC di Pietro Condemi
ISBN  8895145186  
ISBN13  9788895145181  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Urban

Reviews - What do customers think about The Concept of Community: Lessons from the Bronx?

From City Limits Weekly No.643 by Roberta Brandes Gratz  Jun 11, 2008
De Rienzo has written a terrific book, "The Concept of Community: Lessons From the Bronx," a book that tells the incredible story of how Banana Kelly was one of the critical successes lighting the way for the community-led resurgence of the Bronx - a resurgence initiated by local people whom everyone officially had given up on. This self-organized, citizen-motivated movement made it possible for developers and investors to follow (and then attempt to take full credit for the rejuvenation visible today).... But this book does more than recount the success, collapse and renewed success of Banana Kelly. De Rienzo uses the story of Banana Kelly and other Bronx successes - such as the Mid-Bronx Desperados, the Longwood Historic District Association and the South Bronx Community Housing Corporation - to illustrate the real value of empowering communities to make good choices, the nature of appropriate government and foundation support, and the basic functions a community development organization must serve beyond providing shelter. He explores the distinctions between "neighborhood" and "community," the need for community first before the building of institutions is possible, and the difference between a community development corporation that just provides housing and one that has an integrative purpose serving an assortment of community needs.
Well-written in a way that a newcomer to Bronx lore might learn from, this book is useful as both recent New York history and as a primer for activists and supporters alike.... This is a must-read for people from New Orleans to Youngstown, Ohio who think the solution to diminished population and abandonment is demolition - these days called "creative shrinkage," which is just a euphemism for planned shrinkage. Planned shrinkage would have let the Bronx and other beleaguered city neighborhoods continue to rot into oblivion. Local people resisted, proved the experts wrong and are responsible for today's success. They proved both the unrecognized capacity of empowered local citizens and the effectiveness of a public policy that reflects community wisdom and experience.... The lessons are as pertinent today as they were 30 years ago. The only difference is that then the lessons were yet to be learned. Now, they are as clear as day.

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