Concepts of "community" in Community Economic Development : the social dynamics of community-based development in Winnipeg's inner city

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Stephens, Sara Paige
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Community Economic Development (CED) is an alternative form of development that assesses the social and economic needs of a community and engages community members in the creation of locally relevant development initiatives. Many communities in Winnipeg's North End are pursuing CED initiatives to address the problems of poverty, unemployment and violence. Although the concept of "community" evokes images of unity and cooperation, communities are composed of diverse individuals, groups and agendas. CED organizations must understand the unique forms of community belonging in their target communities. This understanding will increase awareness of the factors that influence exclusion and inclusion in communities and their impacts on community development. In this thesis I explore the meanings of "community" to North End community members and CED organization staff, and the ways in which CED organizations and community members negotiate these diverse concepts of "community" to imagine and implement constructive, communal and sustainable development initiatives.