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|
Project Director, LEEDs West Indian Centre Charitable Trust, Leeds, UK
Principal Lecturer, University of Bedfordshire, Bradford, UK