A theoretical exploration of PSOC in an ecological context: The town-gown example


The construct of psychological sense of community (PSOC) is an important multidimensional factor in understanding community well being yet despite this fact, most of the research on PSOC does not adequately account for this reality.  Using the example of a residential neighborhood that adjoins a university campus, this article seeks to expand the current conceptualization of PSOC to more fully capture its ecological and cultural complexities. By applying Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) social ecological framework along with a number of related social science concepts to a discussion of PSOC in a campus-adjacent neighborhood, the paper explores theoretical perspectives and related community constructs that may help expand the conceptualization and measurement of PSOC in diverse communities.  While town-gown relations provide the focus of this article, this work has implications for the general exploration of the roots and conceptualization of PSOC at multiple systemic levels and in diverse settings.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v1i2p1

Keywords: psychological sense of community, town-gown relations, social ecology


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