Acts of defiance: engaging community from the perspective of local government

Hickey, Andrew T. and Bates, Darryl and Reynolds, Paul (2014) Acts of defiance: engaging community from the perspective of local government. In: Community capacity building: lessons from adult learning in Australia. NIACE, Leicester, United Kingdom, pp. 177-189. ISBN 978-1-86201-722-1

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What does it mean to engage the community? In an era when the very idea of community is fraught with contestation (Bauman 2007) and definitional slippery-ness, how might the work of formal institutions like local governments engage that which is necessarily plural, diverse and not always immediately present to the eyes of the outsider? What might the nature of this engagement be and how might the politics of representation- around what is considered community and how this comes to be- frame the very construction of community itself? This chapter explores these questions from the perspective of projects undertaken by the Community Development and Facilities branch of a large regional council located in south-east Queensland, Australia, and the collaborations between this branch, a sociologist-researcher and the community undertaken through 2011-2012. These projects sought to pin-down what community meant to the work of the community engagement professionals of the branch, and in the process charted the contested terrain through which community engagement work navigates. This chapter will highlight the mechanism by which conceptualisations of community were deployed by the branch, the role that active, field-based research evaluation plays within this and some new ways of working that local governments might assume as 'brokers' of community.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version restricted in accordance with publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 21:03
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 04:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: local government; community engagement; agonistic pluralism; community; relational; Toowoomba
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160512 Social Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940201 Civics and Citizenship

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