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"Not all social categories are so variable in meaning. But those whose meanings are the most elusive, the hardest to pin down, tend to be those also hedged around by the most ambiguous symbolism. In these cases the content of the categories is so unclear that they exist largely or only in terms of their symbolic boundaries. Such categories as justice, goodness, patriotism, duty, love, peace, are almost impossible to spell out with precision. The attempt to do so invariably generates argument, sometimes worse. But their range of meanings can be glossed over in commonly accepted symbol - precisely because it allows its adherents to attach their own meanings to it. They share the symbol, but do not necessarily share its meanings. Community is just such a boundary -expressing symbol- As a symbol, it is held in common by its members; but its meaning varies with its members unique orientations to it. In the face of this variability of meaning, the consciousness of community has to be kept alive through manipulation of its symbols. The reality and efficacy of the community's boundary - and, therefore, of the community itself - depends upon its symbolic construction and embellishment."


COHEN, Anthony Paul, 1989. The Symbolic Construction of Community. London: Routledge, S 15. ISBN 0-415-04616-5