The idea that nonspatial voluntary organizations can replace the territorial community as the primary basis for the psychological feelings of community is questionable. A base level of community rises naturally from living in proximity to one another. Although professional associations, labor unions, religious groups, and other voluntary organizations can provide a measure of the sense of neighborhood, the territorial neighborhood seems certain to remain a primary basis for the psychological community. Benjamin Zablocki (1979) maintains that when people live near one another, a level of interaction and common identification is naturally forced upon them. Voluntary organizations can and do supplement the territorial neighborhood, but it is difficult to foresee a time when neighborhood relationships are no longer associated with the territorial place.
Communities still exist in which residents identify with the territorial area, often known as the neighborhood, and personal interactions are still important within the boundaries of the neighborhood. Overall, both the territorial and psychological versions of the neighborhood are still relevant and still matter (Bateman and Lyon 2000). Neighborhoods continue to evolve as the traditional memberships in voluntary associations shift, yet the territorial neighborhood continues to provide the basis for much psychological community for families.
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ROBYN BATEMAN DRISKELL