Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

May 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:1 (Spring 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This book surveys studies of rural, small town, and urban community in Canada. The first third of the book, written by Dasgupta, provides definitions and perspectives of community. The remainder of the book contains a selection of studies of communities in Canada, mostly sociological and mostly from the 1960s and 1970s.

Dasgupta begins with Hillery's 1955 classification of ninety-four definitions of community, noting that all but three of these definitions involve "a group of people in 'social interaction.’” Theories and perspectives on community are organized into five categories: ecological, ethnographic, social system, social or interactional, and conflict approaches. The author examines theoretical approaches developed by social scientists, but more Canadian approaches and materials could have been introduced. For example, in the discussion of settlement patterns, Dasgupta makes no mention of the Canadian Frontiers of Settlement studies of Carl Dawson and associates in the 1930s.