Community as a mechanism for transcending wellbeing at the individual, social, and ecological levels

Eric C. Larson, A. E. Luloff, Jeffrey C. Bridger, Mark A. Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Community wellbeing, from a field theoretical perspective, derives from the interaction of three core elements reflecting different levels and units of analysis – individual, social, and ecological. These facets of community, and their related concepts, come together in a powerful way to shape relationships, opportunities for agency, and local adaptive capacities that lead to wellbeing. Unfortunately, much of the extant community literature moves across and among these three dimensions without regard to how efforts at one level impact another. The literature lacks a theoretical framework that links the individual, social, and ecological levels of wellbeing and community into a coherent whole. Here, we conducted a meta-study of data drawn from within the field theoretical approach to community literature and included a series of theoretical papers, books, journal articles, and community studies spanning from 1959 to 2013. We found that community, from a field theoretical view, contributes to and impacts wellbeing at the individual, social, and ecological levels. Further, we provide a framework, based within the field theoretical approach to community, which can be applied to the study of community and wellbeing at all levels. Practical applications and areas of further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-419
Number of pages13
JournalCommunity Development
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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