Monday, August 24, 2009

Difference between community and aggregates

In this blog, I will differentiate a community from an aggregate while giving definitions of both. I will also identify and describe an aggregate.
A community can be defined the following ways:
1. “A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share common government and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.”
2. “A group linked by a common policy”
3. “A social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.”
From the above three definitions, in the context of this paper, I will define a community as a group of people living in a particular geographical area. They may not however, have a common interest.
An aggregate is defined as:
1. “formed by the conjunction or collection of particulars into a whole mass or sum; total; combined”
2. “(of a fruit) composed of a cluster of carpels belonging to the same flower, as the raspberry.”
In this context, I will define aggregate the classification of individuals within a community based on certain characteristics which they possess in common. Examples of aggregates are senior citizens or the elderly. (The common characteristic is the age); pregnant women (common characteristic is pregnancy), Teenagers (common characteristic is age), Mental health patient (Disease condition) diabetics (Disease condition), etc.
The main difference between a community and an aggregate is that a community is made up different kinds of individuals, in order words, different aggregates while an aggregate is the community split into different categories. It is interesting to know that from the above definitions of a community, aggregates can also be viewed as communities. But for the purpose of this blog, let us say that aggregates are the various classifications that have been set up by community health in order to make the delivery of healthcare more specific and more effective.
According to Jo Clark (2008), community health nursing “is a synthesis of nursing knowledge and practice and the science and practice of public health, implemented via systematic use of the nursing process and other processes to promote health and prevent illness in population groups.”
These “population groups” are communities. The implementation of this “nursing knowledge… and practice of public health” involves the spitting of communities into smaller groups (aggregates) with specific health needs so that these specific needs can be taken care of.

Clark, M. (2008). Community health nursing: Advocacy for population health (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Adapted from UOP library.