Many communities are characterized by fragmented individual and family styles of participation, despite realization that social and economic development requires cooperative effort.
Although many people are searching for effective and significant methods of corporate activity, there are less opportunities for total citizen engagement. Total expenditure of energy into a job and family life are no longer adequate means of full engagement in community life. Social clubs and groups have also become ineffective in this direction. Apparent reasons are varied: few social events bring people together regularly; the public nature of assuming leadership roles tends to draw increased criticism, making recruitment difficult; individuals hesitate to speak their opinion publicly for fear of not drawing support; individuals and family units have few opportunities to directly contribute to the community's life; parents frequently have lost sight of their role as guide and supporter for their children and have accordingly given up parental responsibility to the school, neighbours and television; lack of structured community life has emphasized the influence of the youth peer group and left their potential untapped; and alcohol use and child abuse are concerns, but no communal approach has been developed to cope with these problems which leave families and individuals on their own.