This paper presents a conceptual framework for the systemic study of community organizations (COs) in contemporary societies. This framework is made up of two ideal-type models of COs. These models are structured around the notions of rights, social interaction, and the State. The first ideal-type model is based on a liberal conception of society, and the second model is grounded on communicative ethics as developed by Habermas for contemporary deliberative democracy. The relevance and limitations of such interpretive framework are discussed when a brief exploration on the social meaning of COs in Venezuela unveils grounds for further questioning about the role of COs in contemporary society.