ERIC Number: ED242448
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Group Dynamics and Problem Solving among Rural Poor People: An Experiment in Community Participation. Foundations for Self-determination Research Bulletin No. 13.
Howie, Marguerite Rogers; Underwood, Kathleen
Researchers in South Carolina set up a study and a measurement instrument to determine the powerlessness/alienation phenomenon among rural limited-resource people. They established a control group and an experimental group of black and white residents of six small South Carolina communities. With the control group, they conducted a traditional approach to agency utilization and intervention, using group meetings, information dissemination, and encouragement. With the experimental group, researchers tested three experimental models of intervention: situational, cyclical, and interactional. The effectiveness of the treatment was apparently irrelevant. Early socialization experiences did not affect respondents' feelings of alienation and powerlessness, but race did. Instead of feeling powerless or helpless individually, respondents tended to be thwarted in group efforts towards autonomy as local political institutions did not seem to support goal-setting behavior by limited resource groups. Researchers also measured the alienation of both groups before and after the experiment and administered the Srole Anomie Scale to 400 blacks and 400 whites in rural and urban South Carolina for purposes of comparison. They found that six hypothesized alienation dimensions were not substantiated. Recommendations regarding survey methods, participant-observation methods, unobtrusive measures, and the focus of research on interaction are included. (SB)
Descriptors: Adult Development, Alienation, Blacks, Community Involvement, Community Resources, Group Dynamics, Group Experience, Measurement Techniques, Models, Organizational Communication, Poverty, Problem Solving, Racial Differences, Rural Population, Rural Urban Differences, Self Determination, Social Change, Whites
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Cooperative State Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: South Carolina State Coll., Orangeburg.
Identifiers: South Carolina; Srole Anomie Scale