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Abstract

A "Block Club" may be defined as a group of citizens in a neighborhood who get together and work together to improve their neighborhood. Kahn defines "block organizing as a highly manageable technique, usually "an urban technique" (1970:36). In this context, "organizing may be viewed as a means of achieving and guiding local control over problems that orginate elsewhere in society" (Ecklein & Lauffer 1972:11). shereas services focus on individual needs, organizing focuses on the location of common problems and joint efforts aimed at their solution. Community organizers have generally used a natural leader-informal association approach to organizing Block Clubs and their main concern seems to be the enhancement of social relationships in order to bring about a greater capacity on the part of some target population to deal with common problems.

This article illustrates the dilemmas, contradictions and tensions underlying the work of Block Clubs in a neighborhood during 1970-71; a neighborhood in which the residents felt completely powerless to deal with the consequences of a neighborhood bar. The Community Organization effort initiated with the assistance of the author resulted in the closure of the neighborhood bar. The material for this article was developed from the author's personal knowledge.

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