- Home Page
- Wonderous Stories
- Pop Music
- The Written Word
- Computer Games
- Arts and Health
- Other popular culture
- The Change Professions
- Work with me
Community development has a fine history of using popular culture to draw on
Community development is about community of interests as
well as geographical communities. This ties in with issues of
power and discrimination e.g. around gender or race.Though
not formally a community development project, it might as
well have been as The Zimmers was designed to challenge
perceptions of older people.
What is 'community'?
Community development is sometimes also known as community work, although at other times this can be used more widely to include related but separate approaches. It was originally used by colonial workers abroad before being adopted for the UK. At the time traditional working class communities still existed in Britain, such as in small mining villages. Such communities are now few and far between. Community development may now focus more on building up a 'sense of community' as well as locals' abilities to do things themselves. This could include more effectively arguing for what they want from local public services. It might also mean running their own groups.
With changed times, the word 'community' has now also changed to include 'communities of interest' e.g. the disabled community.
Cynics might also argue that the word is often now used to mean any service that happens to be located outside of HQ regardless of how democratic it is e.g. community dentistry.
Community development's use of popular culture
Community development workers have used popular culture in a number of ways e.g.
* Music projects to build up people's confidence or help them explore health issues by writing their own songs on these topics
* Comedy classes in stand-up for similar reasons
* Using comics as a medium to explore sex education e.g. by young people producing their own or solving unfinished problems in educational comics
* Running sports groups to give people a focus and purpose to their lives
(For more information on community development's use of popular culture see the PDF below. For more information specifically on using sport in community development see my chapter on this topic in 'Sport and Physical Activity: The Role of Health Promotion'. Further details about this book are given in the 'References' page of this website. It also expands on community development theory more generally.)
(For references click here and links click here.)
To download the whole 180 page report on using popular culture to tackle health inequalities click here
To download the PDF software to be able to view these files click here