Journal of Social Science Education (Sep 2012)

“Diversity within Diversity” - Exploring Connections between Community, Participation and Citizenship

  • Pedro D. Ferreira,
  • Joaquim L. Coimbra,
  • Isabel Menezes

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 3
pp. 120 – 134


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Even if recently the notions of citizenship and community have become buzzwords of very positive connotation, significant tensions underlie any ofthem: between homogeneity and difference, belonging and diversity,inclusion and exclusion and, more recently, between freedom and security.Real communities are places of cooperation and mutual recognition as muchas they are places of inevitable conflict, social control and exclusion.Following an ecological and contextual perspective, and a relationaldefinition of community, concepts such as sense of community and socialcapital are explored. An analysis of citizen’s participation in theircommunities illustrates significant dimensions of participation: power,dialogue, initiative, formality, pluralism and time. The discussion considershow these dimensions might contribute to making community organizationsturn into 'schools of democracy' (de Tocqueville 2000), and illustrates thispotential with young migrants, as long as the diversity of diverse migrantgroups is not only recognized but furthered.