According to MacIver, locality and community sentiments are the bases of community

(a) Locality sentiments:

A community always occupies a territorial area. Even a nomad community, a band of gypsies, for example, has a local, though changing habitation. At every moment its members occupy together a definite place on the earth’s surface.

Most communities are settled and derive from the conditions of their locality a strong bond of solidarity. The importance of the conception of community is in large measure that it underscores the relation between social coherence and the geographical area.


This relation is easily revealed in such examples as an Eskimo village or a frontier town or the semi-isolated communities of French Quebec. Whatever modifications in the relation of social bonds and territorial abode have been introduced by civilization, yet the basic character of locality as a social classifier has never been transcended.

(b) Community sentiments:

Community sentiment, as mentioned, is a major prerequisite for the existence of any community. Today we find, what never existed in primitive societies, people occupying specific local areas which lack the social coherence necessary to give them a community character.

For example, the residents of a ward or district of a large city may lack sufficient contact or common interests to instill conscious identification with the area. Such a ‘neighbourhood’ is not a community because it does not possess a feeling of belonging together-it lacks community sentiment (See Box).


Thus locality, though a necessary condition, is not enough to create a community. A community, to repeat, is an area of common living. There must be common living with its awareness of sharing a way of life as well as the common earth.