ERIC Number: ED325291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
How Do Communities Act? Unique Events and Purposeful Strategies in the Formation of an Industrial Base in Rivertown. [Revised].
Brown, Ralph B.
Effective rural education depends on active community involvement. This ethnographic case study examines three models of community organization as an explanation of how community action occurs. The three models are: (1) individuals interacting in formal and informal groups; (2) networks of "weak ties" effective for diffusing information and capitalizing on opportunities created by access to that information; and (3) a centralized weak-tie network based on the premise that a small number of people who know many is more effective than a large number of people who know few. The study attempts to reconstruct events leading various community actors to seek formation of an industrial base as an economic development alternative to agriculture. The study also examines the roles of unique events, specific people, and strategies for the formation of the industrial base in a small community. It was found that unique macroevents played a large role in the community's concern for economic alternatives and in its success in developing those alternatives. Such events also were important to certain community individuals, placing them in key positions to act for industrial development. Thus, community-action strategies were found to be most consistent with the "centralized weak-tie network" hypothesis. However, the irony of this type of centralized leadership network and the type of community action it creates is that its very success at the community level is dependent on only a select segment of the community having a vital say, thus excluding the community population as a whole. (TES)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An early version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Agricultural Sciences (Little Rock, AK, February 1990). Southern Agricultural Sciences (Little Rock, AR, February 1990).