The concepts of aggregate and community are very closely connected, so looking at examples can be a good way to see the difference between these two concepts and to better understand the usage of the two words.
Separating these two distinct, yet closely linked, ideas is not difficult. In order to fully understand the difference, it helps to look at a few examples. Just always keep in mind that the basic definitions are as follows:
If we are talking about the government in terms of aggregates and communities, then we have a very simple example to follow.
Now you might get confused as to where state government would fall on these lines. It could really go either way:
Being technical, there is no official religion of the United States, although the country was built upon Judeo Christian ideals. Therefore, if we were talking about this country in terms of religion, we would refer to a community.
Have you ever heard the phrase "a community of believers"? We have Catholic communities, Lutheran communities, Christian Science communities, Jewish communities, Muslim communities, and so forth.
However, look at a country that does have a national religion. There, you will find that you could say that there is an aggregate religion.
An aggregate can be made up of many different communities. Across the country, we find a wide array of communities. However, when you put all of them together, we get an aggregate or the whole.
These two terms are extremely closely connected; therefore, understanding the difference is difficult. It is especially hard because aggregates are types of communities, communities are types of aggregates, and aggregates can be made up of communities.
An aggregate is the whole. A community is also a whole, but not on as grand of a scale as aggregates.
The U.S. could be referred to as a community when compared to the worldwide entity of mankind.
Typically however, the word "aggregate" is used to signify that we are talking about the country as a whole. The aggregate of the United States is made up of a variety of communities at both the state and local levels.
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