• Punk Rascal
    2
    Fourteen year old newbie here,

    Spending my first 13 years alive in a town with a population of 2.5 thousand, i grew accustomed to the same streets and the same three corner stores, the four coffee stands and the one grocery store. Everybody knew me, though I never met them or bothered to.

    I moved to a bigger city, with a population of 60 thousand. Big jump. During the time I spent there, I made no friends. Everybody did their own thing. It was there that I realized that the bigger the city, the less fucks are given about you. They're not as close knit as what I was used to. In my old town I'd often hear chatter about how crazy the neighboring city was getting, with a population ten times ours. 'I'm glad our town isn't like that,' they'd say.

    What is the foundation for a strong, healthy, vibrant community? A strong connection between the people. This is something big cities don't have.

    I don't know how to articulate this... this thought. My mind is fried. Do you think that the lack of connection between communities drives chaos?
  • Galuchat
    792


    If Dunbar is correct, a large human social group has no bearing on the number of friends and acquaintances one of its members may have.

    Dunbar's Number: 150 (with a 95% confidence interval of 100 to 230), being the number of stable interpersonal relationships a person can maintain.

    Dunbar, Robin Ian MacDonald. 1992. Neocortex Size as a Constraint on Group Size in Primates. Journal of Human Evolution 22 (6): 469–493. doi:10.1016/0047-2484(92)90081-J.
  • Galuchat
    792
    What is the foundation for a strong, healthy, vibrant community? A strong connection between the people. This is something big cities don't have.Punk Rascal

    A town and a city are two different types of social group.
    Each type has many tokens.
    Every social group has a unique culture.
    So:
    1) The culture of every town will be different from the culture of another town.
    2) The culture of every city will be different from the culture of another city.
    3) The culture of towns will be different from the culture of cities.
    4) Social cohesion depends on cultural learning.
    5) Alienation may be a function of poor social skills, culture shock, incomplete enculturation/acculturation, or all three.
  • ssu
    2.5k
    Hello Punk Rascal!

    What is the foundation for a strong, healthy, vibrant community? A strong connection between the people. This is something big cities don't have.Punk Rascal
    Even in a medium sized town people don't know each other. Hence the case of how vibrant a big or 'healthy' a city is, is a different question. In a big city interaction can be seen basically even as threatening: if someone stops you and starts talking to you in a huge city, he or she likely has something to sell, is a panhandler or has a hustle in mind. Or that's at least the typical reaction people would for anything else than asking directions. Yet that doesn't mean there isn't any social cohesion.

    The cultural bonds and social cohesion don't play out ordinarily. But sometimes they do. Perhaps social cohesion (or the lack of it) is something that can be noticed in exceptional situations.

    Just think of yourself being in a foreign country which is totally alien to you. You are taking a bus in the middle of nowhere in the country away from anywhere typically tourists or foreigners visit. Then a couple from your country (I'm assuming the US here) boards the bus and sit next to you. When they find out that you are also an American, most likely outcome will be that they are friendly to you (all those hi's and hellos what Americans exchange) and be interested where you come from. Here the external conditions make people that are total strangers to behave friendly to each other. And the connecting issue is belonging to a very vague social group in philosophical terms of being 'American'.

    Second example is a natural disaster or war when the justice system and police are nowhere to be found. Will people that are total strangers to others start helping each other, or is the moment seen as this moment when you can run into the nearest supermarket or store and steal whatever you can carry away? This is a moment that defines either if there truly is social cohesion in the society or not.

    Poor country in dire straits with low social cohesion: Looting in Iraq in 2003 after the US toppled Saddam.
    looting

    Rich country in dire straits with high social cohesion: German civilians clearing Berlin 1945 after the fall of Hitler.
    _82686190_berlin_line_getty624.jpg
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