ERIC Number: ED164233
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Power and Decision Making in a Rural County: A Longitudinal Analysis.
McLean, Edward L.; Colclough, Glenna S.
Social power is defined as the ability to affect group decisions; power actors are those individuals who seek and exercise power and affect group decisions. Power structure research was conducted in Kershaw County, South Carolina in 1971 and 1977. Although methodologies differed, both surveys identified and interviewed power actors for the county, listing 49 power actors in 1971 and 45 in 1977. During the six year period new power actors emerged; the lists shared only 15 common names. Physicians, dentists, clergy, school administrators and industrial executives were on the 1971 list but not the 1977 one. The merchant/realtor/developer category was most numerous in 1977. Influence of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, service clubs, fraternal orders, and religious groups nearly vanished by 1977. Influence from and participation in quasi-governmental commissions, councils, and public service agencies increased. Although this pattern facilitated participation from more individuals and enhanced a trend toward pluralism, two dangers are seen. Funds for some public programs may decline, creating needs for abrupt adjustment in institutional functions. More importantly, many programs depend on federal-state-regional support, and power structure and decision making also are dependent on these federal, state, and multi-county council funds. Thus, more of the decisions for Kershaw County are being expedited outside the county. (DS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, Clemson.; Cooperative State Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: South Carolina (Kershaw County)
Note: Publication contributes to USDA Cooperative State Research Service Southern Regional Project S-120, "Social Organization for Development of Low-Income Rural Counties"; Prepared for distribution at the Annual Rural Sociological Society Meeting (San Francisco, California, August 30-September 3, 1978)