ERIC Number: ED315258
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug-26
Reference Count: N/A
Our Changing Communities: What the Future Holds.
This speech examines how people perceive relationships among families, communities, and governments, and how these perceptions influence current family and community policies and programs. It also suggests new ways of understanding the nature of the social world and offers examples of policies and programs that stem from traditional beliefs and assumptions. Individualism, large-scale economic growth, and the primacy of local governments are profound influences on economic progress in communities. The emphasis on individualism, for example, has facilitated the privatization of American families. A belief in the value of large-scale industries in economic progress has the effect of limiting a community's economic development strategies. By extension, large-scale approaches tend to limit opportunities for families and communities. The primacy of local governments has led to inefficiencies, duplication, and destructive competition among communities. A growing number of local governments are fighting bankruptcy. By contrast, values that might form the basis of future communities include social justice, empowerment of people through networks, and the interdependence among individuals and communities. Emphasizing these views might lead to different approaches to community development and a new sense of national purpose. Family problems would become not just individual, but social problems. Innovative programs, not highly centralized agencies, would help individuals deal with family difficulties. Decentralization of community development strategy means emphasizing small businesses, producing more jobs, and reducing economic inequality. Development professionals, businesses, and government leaders are encouraged to work cooperatively toward improving their communities. (TES)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the Community Development Society (Lexington, KY, August 26, 1989).