Importance of Community Ethnic Background in Community Activeness
Anthropological research suggests that the predominant ethnic background of rural communities is related to the ability of the communities to adapt to social and economic change. A distinction made for Midwest farming communities is between yeoman farming communities of German background and entrepreneur farming communities of English background. This paper examines the effect of ethnicity, both in terms of the specific ethnic group(s) and the homogeneity on participation in the Iowa Community Betterment program. It is hypothesized that the greater the percentage of the population with German ancestry within a community, the more likely the community's mobilization toward collective action. The findings provide marginal support for this hypothesis, and suggest that community development professionals should approach communities as extremely complex phenomena with a broad complex of factors that ultimately determine the success of development programs.
Timothy Borich, Peter F. Korsching, and Peggy Petrzelka. 1993. “Importance of Community Ethnic Background in Community Activeness.” Journal of the Community Development Society. Vol. 24, No. 1:72-87.