Community Development courses in UK Universities are on the periphery of institutions that are increasingly driven by business principles and adherent to the Higher Education ethos and market driven funding culture of the current Conservative government. This is a reflection of the world of austerity and cuts to public service budgets outside the University within which Community Development practitioners try to generate resilience and self reliance whilst being vulnerable themselves to closure of organisations and job losses with resultant insecurity. At the same time the profile of applicants to the Community Development course at this University has shifted and we are recruiting mostly women from working class communities local to the University, including strong representation of people who migrated to the UK as refugees and now have Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK. Market forces within and beyond the University result in vulnerability of the future of the course itself and even the staff of the course who have felt secure in their jobs for years move closer to becoming part of the insecure workforce along with the students and the staff of partner Third Sector organisations. To oversimplify, a course on the edge is recruiting people from communities on the edge to work in a sector on the edge. Theoretical constructs about people in such liminal positions, will be applied to the particular circumstances of the course. These include work on ‘precarity’ by Pierre Bourdieu and Guy Standing; and Robert Castel’s three zones model. This chapter is about the implications of this for a Community Development and Social Care course in relation to integrity, ethics of recruitment, curriculum design, equality of opportunity, and sustainability.


Community Development Commodification  Diversity Precarity 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Life SciencesCoventry UniversityCoventryUK

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