Community Group Actions: Their Emergence, Continuance and Links to Social Wellbeing

By Carl Hylton and Bertha Ochieng.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Community group actions are a process whereby individuals as part of a group, recognise and develop their theoretical and practical abilities, understand their potential and organise themselves to respond to problems, issues and social needs that they share. It supports the establishment of strong communities that control and use intellectual and practical assets to promote social justice and help improve community wellbeing and quality of life. However, explaining group actions is a challenge because of the interplay between psychological and sociological processes. Most psychological explanations seek to determine human activities as an individual cognitive process entailing minimal or negative cultural or group interference in the perceptions of such actions, but group explanations that fall into the orbit of sociology seek to account for such actions by reference to the forces outside the individual. Drawing on data from a study examining African Caribbean community group actions, this paper presents analyses of community group actions in the north of England and explores the reasons for the existence and continuance of such group actions and the links to social wellbeing. Data was generated from ninety-three community groups with extensive information from individuals representing eleven groups. The findings confirmed that group actions are partly determined by the links individuals have with their communities; consequently, social welfare practitioners need to take into account the various characteristics of community group actions in order to adopt and plan effective strategies to mobilise and support community actions that benefit the social wellbeing of particular communities.

Keywords: Black Communities, Community Development, Group Actions, Empowerment, Social Wellbeing

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.119-130. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 466.687KB).

Dr. Carl Hylton

Project Director, LEEDs West Indian Centre Charitable Trust, Leeds, UK

Dr. Carl Hylton has established an outstanding record of contributions in promoting and developing policies to enhance cultural competence care and understanding for Black families amongst health and social service providers. He is the Chairperson of Leeds West Indian Centre Charitable Trust and also a former Lecturer in Ethnic Relations, Exclusion and Ethnicity, Leeds Metropolitan University and former Project Director of the Leeds Bi-Centenary Transformation Project (LBCTP). Carl is a freelance researcher, social justice activist, consultant and archivist who has recently completed editing a curriculum teaching pack (African Achievements, Liberation and Aspirations) addressing issues of freedom, identity, human rights, prejudice, racial discrimination and social change. Published by GBAKHANDA for LBCTP, the pack will be used in all schools in Leeds.

Dr. Bertha Ochieng

Principal Lecturer, University of Bedfordshire, Bradford, UK

Dr. Bertha Ochieng is a Principal Lecturer, University of Bedfordshire, UK. Her teaching and research activities focus on the health and wellbeing of socially excluded and disadvantaged groups, health inequalities, social and environmental determinants of health and illness; ethnicity and the intersection with health; minority ethnic families accessing and negotiating health and social care services - and in developing research methods that positions excluded people to gain a voice and take centre stage in research. Bertha has grounded links with local communities and a national and international profile through her research work.