Thursday, September 8, 2011

Community Boundaries

Communities are made up of people that are similar and different in respect to many different aspects. These include, race, ethnicity, economic status and life style. While the most recognized aspect is race, I believe an important one that delineates the boundaries between communities is economic status. Not only does this bring people together and separate them, it also leads to the separation of races, different ethnic groups and life styles. One could say that a family's economic status is a cause of the how the other factors mentioned come into play in the family's community. While a community is a binding of people in a certain area that all live and work together, between communities and even within communities boundaries form due to all of the factors above.

The city/community that I live in is pretty large and is very connected in certain aspects, but disconnected in others. The main land of Palm Coast is broken up into neighborhoods that are all categorized by letters of the alphabet. There is the R section, the C section the F section and so on. Basically, all the streets in each of those sections start with the respective letter. These surround the main stretch of town where restaurants and shops are. People of all ethnic backgrounds and races live within these neighborhoods with out segregation. Then by the beach there is what is known as the Hammock. That is private golf club communities, resorts and gated communities. People in the Hammock are known to be wealthy people who all play golf and for the most part are older with older families. The boundary in the community of Palm Coast is not race or ethnicity, but economic status. The families in the mainland are middle class and lower class families and even further there are specific sections that one would drive through and notice that the houses are more or less kept up than others. In the Hammock, giant beach houses and condominium buildings line the beach as well as little beach bungalows.

Economic status isn't necessarily a topic of conversation among people in Palm Coast and most definitely the people in the main land are just as good, nice and hard working as the people in the Hammock, but the way the communities have been build is where the boundary comes into play.

There are in fact racial issues in Palm Coast like most other communities, but to me, it's not an issue that separates the community as much as economic status.

In Winter Park as well, economic status splits the community up. Park Avenue is well known for its expensive and beautiful shops an restaurants while the neighborhoods that surround it are made up of an economically wealthy part of the community. Out in other places a few miles from Park Avenue and even certain blocks close there is a noticeable difference in the cost of the lots and the houses themselves. The wealthy are living is giant houses while the not so wealthy are living in smaller houses. Again, race is an issue and in Winter Park more so than Palm Coast, but the different races and ethnic backgrounds are mixed into the wealthy group as well. Race is a more dividing cause in communities, but economic status is just as big a factor and in my opinion leads into racial boundaries.

The boundaries that separate communities are varying from community to community, but in Palm Coast and Winter Park the boundaries are similar. In some cases in communities all over, the boundaries create major problems between people, however in this example, that is not the case. Boundaries aren't always a good thing for communities, but just a way that people connect over different aspects of life such as races, ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles and the wealthier people all connect with each other.

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