The discussion in its entirety begins with this article.
Question from a reader: Anastasia when you speak of the importance of community, do you mean to say that all communities are alike or are you just certain “communities?
Overarching Answer #2:1:
In some respects I put all communities under one heading as all, or almost all, will have certain characteristics in common. These attributes include:
- Communities existing as any collective of individuals, groups and certain sub-groups;
- The gathering together of these people can be indicative of their sharing of certain common purposes such as establishing housing near water, transportation or schools, or as members of a church or club such as Rotary or the Lion’s Club’
- Members of these communities share a like-mindedness for something, even if only one thing such as living on the same street or in the same neighborhood.
Next, in my organizing system about likenesses and differences in community types, I begin to differentiate one community type from another by designating them as distinct merely by being naturally or organically formed, or intentionally organized.
The natural or organically formed community -- Meets the critera of an "ordinary community" as indicated below. Thus this type of community will naturally emerge out of geographical connectedness.
Community Types – Wikipedia -- Wikipedia has an extensive discussion on community types, including those of the internet.
Ordinary Community (as defined in the dictionary) -- Commonly held views of a “community” define it as “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government and are bound together by various interests, characteristics and values they hold in common.
The intentionally formed community --
Exceptional Community -- A definition of community that is more exceptional, however, holds that a true, healthy-affirming community has several other distinct characteristics. These qualities carry the normally-held view of a community forward into an extraordinary form; New Horizons call this the exceptional community.
One characteristic of the exceptional community is that the members are particularly like-minded regarding the necessity for resolving conflicts in ways that represent social justice in a superlative fashion. A second is that they function synergistically. The presence of these two attributes*; like-mindedness and synergy, separates the exceptional community from all other communities.
To the extent that members not only share common values, interests and characteristics (i.e. like-mindedness) in a particular locality and under one government, but also consistently seek to function synergistically, they set themselves on a course of evolving. Evolving as a group can be the basis for producing an “exceptional community.”
The exceptional community is a thriving, healthy system that makes every possible attempt to maintain harmony and peace. In the exceptional community, violence could, someday, even become obsolete because the conditions that foster violence become unnecessary.
In today’s world the exceptional community is an important model for creating a “culture of prevention,” a significant deterrent to the proliferation of violence. (The Tunisian Dialogue Quartet is an example of this.)
The Exceptional Community Model is an example of an intentional community approach.