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Exploration of the contribution of civic engagement to social capital in a small Kansas town on the high plains

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dc.contributor.author Hoy, Catherine Thompson
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-01T14:33:08Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-01T14:33:08Z
dc.date.created 2001 en_US
dc.date.issued 2015-07-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3341
dc.description vi, 194 leaves en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation explores the role of social capital in the civic life of a rural community. Stockton is located on the High Plains of Kansas, an area traditionally important for farming and mineral production but currently suffering from economic decline. The study tests Robert D. Putnam’s theory that civic engagement is represented by participation in volunteer-supported organizations and social networks, newspaper readership, a higher than average voting record, and a community history of social interaction. According to Putnam these elements of civic engagement create norms of reciprocity and contribute to cooperative action for mutual goals. This qualitative research study includes a review of Putnam’s findings that relate to the study as well as a review of authors who are using his findings to study civic life. Research began with the local public tibrarian, who provided entree to the community. The research methods included interviews with people living in the community and participating in civic life, observations of the community, and analysis of related records and documents, including the local newspaper. The data report, based on the interview transcripts, observation notes, and document analysis, appears in narrative form. The final chapter provides an integrative analysis, drawn from the narrative, and indicates that this town does have identifiable assets of social capital: active participation in volunteer-supported organizations and social networks, consistent local newspaper readership, a relatively high voter turnout, and a record of a substantial history of social interaction. It also reveals that although this civic engagement does result in collective action to accomplish common goals, it is not sufficient to overcome all of the declining economic and social forces facing Stockton. Building on the strength of this social capital, the community could look for direction from other models of civic success. Implications are also indicated for the relevance of the study to community libraries. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Volunteers--Kansas--Stockton. en_US
dc.title Exploration of the contribution of civic engagement to social capital in a small Kansas town on the high plains en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college slim en_US
dc.academic.area School of Library and Information Management en_US
dc.advisor Hale, Martha en_US
dc.department school of library and information management en_US

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