We all belong to communities - at home, in our neighbourhoods, at work, at school, through voluntary work, through online networks, and so on. Communities are vital to our lives and wellbeing. But their importance means we need to understand their changing place in our lives, their role in encouraging health, economic prosperity and creativity, their history and their future.
The AHRC is leading on Connected Communities, a cross-Council programme designed to help us understand the changing nature of communities in their historical and cultural contexts and the role of communities in sustaining and enhancing our quality of life.
The programme seeks not only to connect research on communities, but to connect communities with research, bringing together community-engaged research across a number of core themes, including community health and wellbeing, community creativity, prosperity and regeneration, community values and participation, sustainable community environments, places and spaces, and community cultures, diversity, cohesion, exclusion, and conflict.
A growing body of work under the programme is exploring the temporal dimension to communities, while other clusters of projects are exploring issues such as cultural value in community contexts and 'community and performance'. Another strand of research is exploring the potential for arts and humanities to support approaches to engagement with communities to active participants in the research process, through the creative arts and media, narratives, crafts and by enhancing consideration of issues such as ethics, power and voice.