Associational Structure and Community Development: a ...

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Paper title Associational Structure and Community Development: a Comparative Study of Two Communities in Southern United States
Paper author(s) Satadal Dasgupta
Proceedings title International Rural Sociological Association (IRSA), 1972
Date 1972
Abstract One of the basic arguments is that the comprehensive development of a local community requires coordination & integration among its diverse interest fields. Coordination & comprehensiveness of the community structure are observable at the levels of all 3 analytical units of the community field: actors, actions & associations. At the level of actors, the coordinative nature of the community structure may be measured in terms of the existence of a generalized leadership constituted of a small number of individuals widely reputed as general leaders in the community whose participation is effective in a variety of interest fields. In terms of actions, the emphasis on coordination & comprehensiveness in the community can be seen in the local identity of the activities & in their broad scope of interest & a wide range of participation. At the associational level, coordination & integration of the community structure may be analyzed in terms of the extent to which associations cooperate & participate in community activities. In an ideal integrated community there would be a central coordinating organization, CD association, expressly organized to coordinate & initiate programs in a variety of interest fields along with other coordinating & participating organizations. The objective is to elaborate on a conceptual model of an effective coordinating associational structure for comprehensive CD & examine the validity of the model by comparing 2 communities. An attempt is also made to develop a quantitative scale to measure the coordinativeness of associational structures of the 2 communities.

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