What Makes a Community?
While this post isn't specifically about exploring Second and Third Tier, it contains a wealth of information useful for satisfying the longing for "community" that is so widespread among everyone--and that is especially poignant for those on the fringes of societal mainstream, like most readers here.
Some of the information is old, as I have copied this from a private blog in an online forum that I did back when, but I offer it in the spirit of helpfulness, and would love to hear how you use it.
For some reflections more specifically on Second and Third Tier "community" you might check out these other blogposts:Exploring Group Shadows of Teal Groups/Organizations
How Second Tier Functioning Might Show Up in Group Processes
or any others with the tag "we-space" or "groups"
Original exploration around the concept of community:
Are we really a community, or are we just a collection of people who choose to be in the same section of cyberspace? How can we know whether we are a community or a collection? And does it make any difference?? Well, if it makes a difference to you, please read here and add your perspectives and preferences.
The people riding a bus are not a community. The people viewing a movie in a theatre are not a community. The cast of a play might or might not be a community. A family might or might not be a community.
The people living in the same town are called "a community" but are they always? The people in a church might or might not be a community. The people within a business might or might not be a community, usually not. A sports team might or might not be a community. A social club or common-interest group (which perhaps we are the closest to) might or might not be a community.
An organization gathered "for a cause" might or might not be a community. Sometimes a collection, like people on the same cruise ship, can become what might be called a "community" in an emergency they face together.
Reasons for thinking about definitions of community: What would be benefits of this exploration be, for our community??
I think it would be very worthwhile for us together to look at some definitions of "community", because the more we know about who we are, the easier it might be to come up with our Vision, Mission, Purpose, and Values which are the foundation for our co-created structure and processes.
Another reason for arriving at a common shared definition of our community-ness is so new people can sense whether they belong here, and can have realistic expectations for what their experiences here might be, so they don't end up disappointed because we aren't the "kind of community" they were expecting us to be.
Obviously, with so many diverse meanings to the term (see below) there is plenty of room for clashing expectations of who we are. Some commonality would promote harmony here.
Different kinds of community, and what makes a community?
Everything below is from Wikipedia. I have bolded the ideas or phrases which I personally feel are most relevant to the kind of community we are or could become, and it's easy to get lost in so many options described, but I believe it's worth reading them so we understand the CONTEXT in which our Community might exist. We can know more about the kind of community we have chosen to be, out of the many options available to us.
Here's Wikipedia's summary of the concept of "community" (and longer discussion) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community [links have been stripped in the copying and pasting process and footnote numbers have been removed as distracting in this post.]
In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting species sharing a populated environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.