Practising Place: A Critical Approach to Localism

John Stanley Rule


This paper draws on empirical data from my doctoral research on the changing nature of inner city community development work. The professional identity of the community worker emerged in the 1970s and is linked to other emergent identities - the resident activist, social activist and community activist. Inner city community development work is in a state of flux and requires new investigative and analytical tools to help make sense of both its past, present and future. There are now more agencies and actors who would claim to be involved in community development and community building in inner city environments. Whilst it is clear that governing patterns have considerably challenged the role and the potential of what were once considered radical or alternative community development approaches, I argue that it is still possible to identify areas for productive engagement and development through what I have called practising place.

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