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Civic EcologyAdaptation and Transformation from the Ground Up$
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Marianne E. Krasny and Keith G. Tidball

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028653

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028653.001.0001

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Creating Community, Creating Connections

Creating Community, Creating Connections

(p.46) (p.47) 3 Creating Community, Creating Connections
Civic Ecology

Marianne E. Krasny

Keith G. Tidball

The MIT Press

Sense of community is a feeling of belonging, of being able to influence others, of shared history and emotional connections, and that one’s needs are being met within a particular community. Where there is a strong sense of community, people are more likely to cooperate with neighbors to improve their surroundings. Social capital refers to the presence of social networks and trust, along with volunteering or civic participation. When communities have social capital, people are more likely to join together to take action to benefit their community. Collective efficacy is the willingness of people to intervene for the common good. A neighborhood demonstrates collective efficacy when people are willing to pick up litter, call out kids who are skipping school or harassing others, or plant a community garden on a vacant lot. Studies have shown that neighborhoods that demonstrate collective efficacy have lower crime rates. Civic ecology practices demonstrate collective efficacy, or willingness to intervene for the common good. In a feedback process, civic ecology practices also depend on the presence of a sense of community and social capital and may build greater sense of community and social capital.

Keywords:   Sense of community, Social capital, Collective efficacy, Civic ecology, Gangs, Chicago, Nature Cleaners (Iran), LydaHanifan, Robert Putnam, Robert Sampson, Housing projects

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