Early work concerned with ‘community’
Those interested in the business of conceptualising community have long mapped the range and diversity of ways of thinking about and treating it. Social theorists from Aristotle to Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Simmel, Hillery, Elias, Friedman, Young, Garfinkel and Sacks (to name a few) have all usefully pointed out that community is many things to many people (see Wild 1981 and Mowbray 1985 for a detailed examination of the many uses of community). Indeed Hindess (cited in Malpas and Wickham 1998, p. 354) alleges that the most notable thing about reference to community in popular discourse is the difficulty of clarifying what one actually means by it. As Malpas and Wickham (1998, p. 354) claim, there is considerable arbitrariness when thinking about any community. Indeed those interested in the study of community are confronted with a massive range of competing and contrasting ideas about what it is.
(link to whole article – History of Community Development in WA)