Communities of Practice: Learning, Meanings, and Identity


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             A community simply refers to a group of people living together in unity and harmony and coordinating with each other to perform various task and responsibilities which benefit everyone involved. It can also be referred to as a form of social unit which is made of people who share common values, attitudes, interest and even have common goals that they would like to achieve together (Wenger, 72). Self and others simply refers to a situation whereby one strives for their own development while at the same time encouraging others to achieve their own development. It calls for working together not just for ones won benefit but also for the benefit of others. This relates to the principle of a community whereby everyone looks after each other and values the interest of others in addition to their own.

The various kinds of communities which exist include, the communities made of people with the same interest or share the same passion, a community of people who try to bring change through their actions, a community of people who are brought together as a result of the geographical location and boundaries they share. Furthermore, there are communities of people who share similar practice or share the same kind of profession, and last but not least there are communities which are brought together as result of the similar external situations or events which affect all of the people involved (Wenger, 72). All these communities can be classified as centralized, de-centralized or even distributed communities. An individual ensures that the common objectives and goals of the whole community are achieved by providing their contribution and playing their role in the community. In addition, an individual shows respect, cooperation and participates actively.

The community on the other hand, ensures that an individual achieves personal development, safety, and general well-being in addition to satisfaction. As an individual, I belong to the student body of my school which represents my interests and looks after my welfare as a student. My duties include my active participation in ensuring that I follow the school rules, make annual contributions to the student body and participate in elections when selecting new student leaders. The technological advancements have transformed the understanding of community to that of people who are found on the same social network and can interact without minding each others’ development or interests. Technology has brought virtual communities which only exist through internet connections although they still may share common interests (Chayko, 4). The current understanding of community relates to the interactions on social networks and the physical touch no longer exists.


Chayko, Mary. Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008. Print. p.4

Wenger, Etienne. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meanings, and Identity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print. p.72

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