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Durham e-Theses
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Motivational and Situational discourses in collective community action

Buchroth, Ilona (2007) Motivational and Situational discourses in collective community action. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is concerned with attempting to understand the contemporary motivation and conditions for collective community action. This study is based on interviews with 20 people who are active in their local community in the North East of England. It explores the rationale behind their commitment to the 'common good' and identifies the circumstances and conditions that support, shape and develop that commitment. The study is of particular current interest and also highlights contemporary tensions. On the one hand current government policy, especially in the areas of renewal and regeneration, relies heavily on the active involvement of local people, both in the areas of decision making at strategic level and through an increase in community and voluntary sector activity. On the other hand however, society is generally described as displaying features of what some may term the 'post-modern' condition, that is a mind-set defined primarily through an increase in individualism, an absence of collective values and a tendency 'to bowl alone' (Putnam 2000). This tendency is reflected in the changes to adult education, which has been increasingly individualised and therefore no longer provides the pathways to collective involvement that used to be part of its radical tradition. The findings from this study challenge the prevailing assumptions of apathy, inactivity and individualism and show the very broad range of reasons that motivate people of different ages and backgrounds to become and remain active with others. Furthermore, this study outlines the conditions that are likely for this engagement to flourish, to take it beyond a remedial, temporary 'life style' option and instead to allow it to take root as a sustainable and transformative contribution to local neighbourhoods.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:56

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