Community | Breakdown

The idea of community is something that most of us grow up with as a given; from early childhood we are surrounded by various forms of it: from family, to nursery, to school, to university. Throughout this time we are in environments that facilitate the forming of community, places that surround us with others of roughly our own age. And whilst the sizes of our friendship groups may vary, there is always the notion of other people on the periphery.

Pre-ordained community seems to end as we make our way into the world following the close of institutionalised education. We no longer have a place to go on a near-daily basis where we will be surrounded by our peers. Perhaps the closest equivalent is work-based community - in many ways this can resemble what we’ve known up until now, but there are subtle and significant differences.

Within an educational establishment we generally know how long we are to spend there and this realisation can effect the bonds we make with others; if we know we are to spend a lengthy period within a place, then we will be likely to invest more in the bonds that we make with others. Given enough time we’re also more likely to engage in or build a larger community outside of our immediate friends.

On the outside of institutionalized education things aren’t as clearly defined. It is now up to us to choose how long we wish to spend somewhere. The structure that we’ve known until now has disappeared, and it is up to us to make the rules.