Course Number: 
48300

This course examines theories and strategies of organizing communities for the purpose of achieving social change. The course considers approaches, concepts, and definitions of community and the roles of community organizations and organizing efforts, especially those in diverse, low-income urban communities. A primary course objective is to explore how social problems and their community solutions are framed, the theoretical bases of these solutions, and the implementation strategies through which they play out in practice. Topics include resident participation, community-based planning and governance, community development, organizing in and among diverse communities, coalition building, and policy implications of different approaches to community action. The course includes both historic and current examples of community action practice in Chicago and nationally. Throughout, the course emphasizes political and economic events that shape, constrain, and enable community action and organization.