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Making spaces for community development

Making spaces for community development

Michael Pitchford
with Paul Henderson
Copyright Date: 2008
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  • Book Info
    Making spaces for community development
    Book Description:

    Making spaces for community development offers an account of the key changes to the context and practice of community development since the 1970s, told through the experiences and insights of a group of highly experienced practitioners. The book, intended for those practising and interested in practising community development today, focuses on dilemmas arising from the shift to partnership working from a more confrontational model, and the professionalisation of the field. Bringing together a wealth of experience and knowledge from across areas of play and youth work through to the environment, community enterprise, race equality, immigration and housing, the book raises key questions for contemporary debates and current practice.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-260-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. iv-iv)
    Alison Seabrooke

    Community development has a long and rich history and this publication brings forth the experiences and insights of a group of experienced practitioners with a wealth of knowledge and insights that will help those of you who are practising community development today. The book provides a useful historical context for community development, the changing sponsors and focus for community development practice, from the late 1960s until the present day. I was particularly interested to read about the different approaches and tactics used by practitioners to effect change and in part how these have evolved over the years.

    At the heart...

  4. Community Development Foundation (CDF)
    (pp. v-v)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  6. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    When I started in my first job as a community development practitioner, I assumed that community development was in its infancy, a completely new way of working. I was consumed by what was happening at the time, primarily what funding was available for the next project we had up our sleeve. Theory did not really figure in my work and in many ways we discovered for ourselves through trial and many errors, what others had already learnt a long time ago. We rolled up our sleeves, got stuck in and placed an emphasis on learning from those we worked with....

  7. TWO Community development: historical overview
    (pp. 7-16)
    Paul Henderson

    A number of commentators have pointed to the mistake of assuming that community development is a recent arrival on the professional, social movement and social policy scenes, whether this was following the election in 1997 of the first Blair government or the new horizons that opened up for community development at the end of the 1960s.

    The starting point of the history of community development is a matter of debate; it certainly goes back more than 100 years. In the following overview we have chosen to go back as far as 1968. This is because our purpose is simply to...

  8. THREE A seat at the table? The changing context for community development
    (pp. 17-30)

    Community development can be heard echoing through much government rhetoric on communities. New Labour came to power in 1997 with a commitment to building strong communities and their third term manifesto talked of putting power and resources in the hands of the ‘law-abiding majority’. There are more resources than ever for community-level activity and communities themselves are being positioned to have a central role in decision making within their neighbourhoods. David Miliband MP, for a short time the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, spoke of the double devolution of power from central government to local government, and...

  9. FOUR Can we do more? Assessing the purpose and role of community development
    (pp. 31-54)

    What is community development and why are we doing it? Fourteen years of practice and I am still having conversations about these very questions. I have not had a good enough understanding to clearly and convincingly explain the answer to someone in the street. Many other practitioners, past and present, have expressed similar confusions. This is not an accident. Community development is a practice which has been ‘contested’ for many years and there are strong claims from policy makers, practitioners and communities for what they understand and want it to be.

    Having described the changing context for community development in...

  10. FIVE Achieving change: the rise of partnerships and their impact on community development practice
    (pp. 55-74)

    What did practitioners used to do? How did they work and what approaches did they adopt? We have described the changing context for community development practice since the 1970s and discussed different perspectives on roles, values and approaches to community development. In this chapter we will be looking at the way practitioners worked by drawing on the examples provided by interviewees. These are intended to flesh out earlier discussions. The chapter will look in turn at community development inspired by conflict approaches, followed by the more recent shift towards a community planning model based on dialogue and partnership working


  11. SIX Who is it for? Accountability and community development
    (pp. 75-92)

    The community development approach has and continues to be influenced enormously by the increased accountability required of practitioners and the community development field as a whole. Discussion and debate around the need for evidence is now a staple ingredient of any community development conference. This chapter will look at how the issues of evaluation, evidence and accountability were addressed in the past through the experiences of practitioners and what this meant for practice. These experiences will be used to make sense of the rising demands for accountability on the work of practitioners today and the implications this has for the...

  12. SEVEN Where is community development today?
    (pp. 93-112)

    Colleagues have suggested to me that community development has arrived at the policy table. Interviews with experienced practitioners and observation of current practice suggests that it is the importance of ‘community’ to the New Labour government that has arrived and not that of community development. It is the newer categories of ‘community engagement’ and ‘community empowerment’ that underpin the 2006 local government White Paper (CLG, 2006) and not that of community development.

    So what is community engagement about and how does it link to community development? The terminology of engagement and involvement emerged most recently in the context of a...

  13. References
    (pp. 113-116)
  14. Appendix: The interviewees
    (pp. 117-128)
  15. Index
    (pp. 129-134)