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This book defines the current identity of community studies, provides a critical but reliable introduction to its key concepts and is an engaging guide to the key social research methods used by community researchers and practitioners. Concise but clear, it caters for the needs of those interested in community studies by offering cross-referenced, accessible overviews of the key theoretical issues that have the most influence on community studies today It incorporates all of the important frames of reference including those which are: * theoretical * research focused * practice and policy oriented * political * concerned about the place of community in everyday life. The extensive bibliographies and up-to-date guides to further reading reinforce the aim of the book to provide an invaluable learning resource. Interdisciplinary in approach and inventive in its range of applications this book will be of value to students studying sociology, social policy, politics and community development.