ERIC Number: ED204870
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Power and the Polls: A Community Power Structure and Its Implications for a School Bond Referendum.
Conners, Dennis A.
A study was undertaken to explore the power structure in a Southwestern community of 93,000 and to determine which elements in that power structure had the most influence in a local school bond referendum. The data for the study were collected using two techniques. First, a panel of knowledgeable community members identified 85 politically influential persons who were then interviewed. Second, a random sample of district voters was surveyed by telephone. The data collected were analyzed to clarify the social, political, and professional relationships among individuals identified as in the highest three tiers of the community's power structure. The study revealed this power structure to be a multi-group, noncompetitive system characterized by a high degree of consensus. This consensus on basic community policy, including educational philosophy, was passed down through the formal organizational networks of the school district and the chamber of commerce as well as through an informal social network. The campaign strategy for the bond referendum focused successfully on using these networks to mobilize only those voters primarily favorable to the district and its needs. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981). Some pages may reproduce poorly due to broken print of original document.