By reviewing the ongoing debate on “community” within the social sciences, highlights major inconsistencies in the standard definitions, as well as in their operationalization in empirical social research. The relevance of this debate to the study of social dynamics has been reduced by a strong foundational bias and a lack of a proper view of individual agency. Notions of space and time, as well as social memory and culture, have been taken too much for granted. By constructivistically questioning these notions, suggests an alternative approach which explores a likely integration of autopoietic systems theory, agent‐based models and network analysis. Considers its implications for research methodology.
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