ERIC Number: ED331648
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Assessing Community Viability: Design and Methodology.
Assessing community viability with multiple-indicators (including education) is a necessary step in creating effective leadership in rural communities and schools. As part of a larger study of the effects of leadership patterns on community viability, this report examines the procedure for measuring community viability within the socio-geographic field, and for identifying community leaders. All 17 incorporated places in northwest Missouri with populations between 1,000 and 2,500 were identified for study. These small towns have traditionally been centers of rural areas and have some similarities in socioeconomic environment. An index of viability was developed based on five indicators: (1) percent change in population from 1970 to 1980; (2) percent change in high school enrollment from 1977/78 to 1987/88; (3) per capita sales tax receipts for 1987; (4) presence of 8 selected business services; and (5) presence of 7 selected health services. The 17 communities were ranked on each indicator, and each community's average rank was its viability score. A position-reputation method was used to select community leaders. In each community, a comprehensive list was compiled, naming persons in position in government, schools, businesses, professions, and social, service, or religious organizations. Informants from 7 categories then identified the 15 top leaders in each community. Generally, leaders had deep roots in the community and were in professional, managerial, or farm operator occupations. However, leader profiles differed substantially among communities. Analyses of these differences will take place in the next phase of this research. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Community Viability; Missouri (Northwest); Small Towns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Rural Sociological Association (Little Rock, AR, February 3-7, 1990).