ERIC Number: ED175601
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug-23
Changing Country, Changing Town: A Comparison of Satisfaction and Feelings Regarding Development in High Expansion Potential Communities.
Jobes, Patrick C.
Satisfaction with one's community is an elusive quality related to a variety of physical and social factors. As changes in the community become imminent, levels of satisfaction may also change. Residents of two communities were periodically questioned as their personal satisfaction, (happy place, suitable size), satisfaction with services (schools, recreation, police protection), attitudes toward planning (limiting development, access to information), and general optimism (peace, personal influence). One of the communities, Ranchland, was predominantly rural while the other, Valleyville, was a small university town of approximately 20,000. Valleyville residents generally viewed the rapid changes occurring in their community as naturally occuring, as progress accompanied by increased diversity and opportunity. Ranchland residents, however, faced a different situation, for large scale coal development was imminent and the change agents were to be "foreign" decision makers such as mining corporations, energy companies, and state and federal governments. Within two years Ranchland residents became much more critical of their area and the planning efforts within it, even though actual changes had not yet occurred. Apparently changes in perception related to a place need not be associated with actual changes which have occurred there so much as to perceptions of who would control the change in the event it occurred. The difference in acceptance primarily appears to be due to a willingness to favor development. (Author/DS)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Change Agents, Community Attitudes, Community Change, Community Development, Community Satisfaction, Community Services, Comparative Analysis, Development, Economic Change, Interviews, Local Issues, Planning, Quality of Life, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Self Determination, Services, Social Change
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Montana State Univ., Bozeman. Dept. of Sociology.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Burlington, Vermont, August 23-26, 1979)