Critiques of community
This chapter addresses the radical dimension of community as expressed in protest, in the quest for an alternative society or the construction of collective identity in social movements. It looks at some critical theories of community and argues, following Habermas, for a notion of communication community. The chapter discusses the connection between community and social movements. Communication for Habermas operates on two levels. It is the basic medium of social integration and is the means of reconciling conflict, including competing political positions. The very capacity to speak entails an orientation to a possible agreement with another person and the tacit assumption of a shared world. Indeed, the very idea of the life-world is a communitarian notion. Although a consensus will never be arrived at, the capacity for people to deliberate in communicative modes of action can never be excluded in principle.