Anthropology, the meaning of community, and prevention

C. Timothy McKeown, Robert A. Rubinstein, James G. Kelly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Successful health promotion and disease prevention efforts must be designed with a thorough knowledge of the community in which they are to be used. Unfortunately, our understanding of the term "community" is currently in a muddle. In this paper we clarify the nature of communities by examining how the concept has been treated in four classic community studies. Three important points emerge: (1) that community is a multifaceted, (2) that communities are best viewed as assortments of social processes, and (3) that each community has within it many different communities. We then illustrate these findings with a commentary on Kelly's often cited longitudinal community psychology study of adolescent boys attending two high schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Ecology of Prevention
Subtitle of host publicationIllustrating Mental Health Consultation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781317735779
ISBN (Print)9780866566230
StatePublished - Jun 3 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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