I’ve set up a survey for the trans community using the “Sense of Community Index-2” (SCI-2) research tool. For some time I’ve wanted to do this survey with the trans community.
Take the survey here.
For some time, I’ve seen and heard subjective assertions like:
Additionally, I’ve often thought that one’s sense of community within the transgender community seems largely dependent upon where one lives and where one began first encountered the trans community. A sense of community is tied to everything from one’s overall wellbeing to the efficacy of health interventions. In fact, community is so important, the APA has a specific division focusing exclusively on community psychology.
The Australian government (AG) identified two major types of communities:
The AG has the following to say about a Community of Interest:
In considering communities of interest, one can come close to defining community subjectively: one’s community is the group with which one identifies and which provides one with a particular sense of identity. There are some attractions in defining community in this way. Primarily, it resonates with the lived experience of people. It tends to reflect the forms of relationship and the patterns of communication that are important to them. It recognises that much communication and the sense of belonging are often not related to specific localities, but transcend physical barriers. Today, with the ease of electronic forms of communication, frequent communication can occur at an international level. Many academics, for example, identify with an international body sharing a similar field of expertise or interest. This body may have far more importance for them in terms of communication than do people who live locally. In fact, the Australian Community Survey conducted by the Edith Cowan University Centre for Social Research and NCLS Research in 1998 found that, in the cities, over 30 per cent of Australian adults communicated with no one in their residential locality about work interests, and over 25 per cent communicated with no one in the residential locality about their personal interests.
The trans community is, at it’s most rudimentary elements, a Community of Interest. I tend to think that as a Community of Interest becomes more empowered, Communities of Location begin to emerge. For me, the transgender community facilitated my transition from a male social identity to a female one. Additionally, I identify with many of the political goals and social issues with which the trans community concerns itself. I’m guessing that this is true for a number of people who identify with the trans community and I’m guessing that it is not so true for those who do not. Moreover, I’m guessing that places with an empowered trans community are places which support an environment of common interests and those community locations that are fairly disorganized in being able to coherently articulate their common interests will only support a weak or nonexistent community of location.
I’ve therefore decided to put these notions to the test. I chose to use the SCI-2 tool for this survey because it is considered to the most reliable tool available to the researchers. The citation for this tool is as follows:
Chavis, D.M., Lee, K.S., & Acosta J.D. (2008). The Sense of Community (SCI) Revised: The Reliability and Validity of the SCI-2. Paper presented at the 2nd International Community Psychology Conference, Lisboa, Portugal.
Take the survey here.