Community Development as a BUZZ-word

This article examines the semantic evolution of the term Community Development (CD) in the latter twentieth century. It is argued that CD has acquired different meanings, theoretical grounding, and practical application starting with a focus on traditional societies up to the 1960s, social and/or civil rights movements up to 1980s, and the modern middle class from the 1990s. The thrust of argument is that the concept is not cohesive and unified but represents a repertoire of meanings that encompass many shades of CD that are not necessarily mutually compatible but reflect the particular political and social practices in the contexts in which they occur.