Constructed upon the notion of a disappearing community, preoccupied with the search for social cohesion, sociology has always struggled to describe what a community is, much less how, through sociality, it creates and sustains subjectivity. The secret of sociology's confusion is just one of the topics examined in this engaging analysis of why -for the social sciences - community remains so problematic. After first examining the current debates, Studdert argues that the problems of describing sociality and community are fundamentally of sociology's own making. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt he concludes by showing how an anti-essentialist and anti mechanistic approach is not only capable of describing communal being-ness, but also offers the possibility for a new form of communal politics, outside the exclusive domain of the state/subject axis.For students and teachers it represents not only an overview of both positions (modernist and post-modernist), but an alternative that can be examined in the course of various debates.

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