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An investigation into the Pre-industrial Image and the Post-industrial Reality

Part 1 Dissertation 1998
Andrew Roberts
University of Lincoln Lincoln | UK
The fundamental question which inspired this work and subsequently governed its investigation is as follows, "why do residents of suburban estates consider themselves part of a community similar to that of an eighteenth century village hamlet, when in reality they have very little in common?"
The current definitions of the concept of community are elusive, imprecise, contradictory and controversial. Community has been described as having "both descriptive and evaluative meanings, and is as much an ideological construct as a description of a locality".
Through the use of a Gramscian perspective, I will establish the process of capital's domination over community as being the result of dominant groups maintaining and reproducing their ascendancy through a complex use of ideological processes in an attempt to establish an agreed understanding of reality.

I will illustrate how this understanding has been formulated to permeate our principles, social and economic relationships and itnellectual moral positions.
The main body of text thus explains this paradigm of community where our daily experiences of social and economic relations are at odds with the hegemonic construct of community. This will expose our ability to simultaneously hold different if not contradictory interpretations of the world.
Throughout the text I will cite two artefacts which I will use to convey capital's impact on the built environment. The first is born of apre-industrial social and economic dependency, the second results from the post-industrial phenomenon of the physically and ecnomically stratified mobile worker.
I will conclude by explaining how the potentially unifying concept of community now results in its image merely cloaking the disunity inherent in the post-industrial environment.
Through an analysis of romantic social theorists, who belieed that community was a politically unifying concept, I will explain the effect of mutual-aid, principally within its role in the maintenance of a capitalist hegemony.

I will ultimately establish my personal position by criticising the current belief in "community by proximity", understanding it as being nothing more than "organic" intellectuals carrying on dominant ideologies.

Ambrose, Peter. Urban Process and Power, London: Routledge, 1994
Harvey, D. The Condition of Post-modernity, an inquiry into the origins of cultural change. Basil Blackwell; Oxford, 1989
Nicholson, Linda. J. (ed.) Feminism and Post-Modernism, London; Routledge, 1990
Zukin, Sharon. The Landscape of Power: From Detroit to Disney World. Oxford: University of California Press Limited, 1991
Andrew Roberts

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