The reality of community, Cohen argues, lies in its members’ perception of the vitality of its culture (a significant element of this is what Putnam calls ‘social capital’ – see below).
“People construct community symbolically, making it a resource and repository of meaning, and a referent of their identity’ (Cohen 1985: 118).
An obvious example of this is the sorts of ritual people connect with in terms of religious observance, for example, the rites of worship, the objects involved and the actions of the priest, imam or rabbi.
Indeed, it is very significant that the notion of community recurs in major religions: …
The definition of ‘community’ or ‘communion’ can, thus, become an exclusionary act.