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Thread: Social change theories/studies [was...Studies that show how things happen....]

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    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Social change theories/studies [was...Studies that show how things happen....]

    I'm very interested in any academic studies that have been done about how change happens in physically isolated economically depressed areas. One reason I ask is that one of the counties I'm going to be assigned to is a black hole in terms of anything in planning- grant applications, comp plans, open space planning, up to date fees, etc. I'm curious as to why they are so far behind the surrounding counties- what are the forces at work, and how has change happened in other areas that are similar?
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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    There are a multitude of reasons, but generally you should look at local leadership and review the local policies and ordinances. Who runs things? Pressure to maintain the status quo normally means someone or a group of persons have power and money to lose if things change. Change will only occur if and when folks from outside the area move in and apply sufficient pressure for change.

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    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    That was my guess (as far as others moving in). The local "leadership" is not leading and is very attached to the status quo.
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Social change theory

    Maybe I should re-pose my question. I was thinking about areas like Appalachia, where the population is somewhat isolated and economically challenged. Have there been studies on this type of environment done by political sociologists which examined the paths of change? This whole arena is just a curiosity for me on an intellectual level....
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Clore View post
    Maybe I should re-pose my question. I was thinking about areas like Appalachia, where the population is somewhat isolated and economically challenged. Have there been studies on this type of environment done by political sociologists which examined the paths of change? This whole arena is just a curiosity for me on an intellectual level....
    I can't cite any studies but similar topics have long been a strong personal interest of mine. As far as Appalachia, one problem there is that resources get "strip mined" -- the folks who own the mines and pocket the money have no vested interested in the local communities and the people who work in the mines have no power to change things. That is typical in poor areas or any type of underclass: For some reason, they have no real rights and are cut off from exercising power. This can become a downward spiral because they then resent/protest power and all its trappings and reject the very things which could be a path to change. Sort of like African American kids in school who are openly hostile to any kids who make good grades and deem them to be a "sell out to the white man" or something. Whites hold power and there is all this negative social history between whites and blacks so doing anything which would help you become powerful equates to "acting white". It's tough to separate out the good from the bad in such situations and try to find a path to power that is not offensive to most of those who are powerless.

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    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    The whole field of 'growth' adn 'development' economics is devoted to this.

    They main determinants, according to the current orthodoxy, are institutions/regulations, relative educational / communciations infrastructure, positional (geography, weather) effects, demographics (especially waves or lumps in the age distribution) and more generally capital accumulation. There are probably several tens of thousands of papers on this subject and many hundreds of books.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Anyone have a link to an article or two that would discuss this?
    Thanks!
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michael Kerins View post
    Change will only occur if and when folks from outside the area move in and apply sufficient pressure for change.
    You sound like the outside forces are only a good thing? Its definitely a double-edged sword from where I sit and these can go either way.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Clore View post
    Anyone have a link to an article or two that would discuss this?
    Thanks!
    Perhaps not specifically what you asked for but perhaps close enough: http://www.gcastrategies.com/books_articles/
    (Stolen from myself.)

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