el rol de la comunidad en la vida rural thomas lynn smith

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  • 8/12/2019 El Rol de La Comunidad en La Vida Rural Thomas Lynn Smith

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    The Role of the Community in American Rural LifeAuthor(s): T. Lynn SmithReviewed work(s):Source: Journal of Educational Sociology, Vol. 14, No. 7, Current Social Problems in RuralEducation (Mar., 1941), pp. 387-400Published by: American Sociological AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2262423.

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    THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY INAMERICANRURALLIFET. LYNN SMITH

    American ural ife has suffered orwantof a strong, ighlyintegrated,nd clearlydefined uralcommunity.ocal govern-ment, rganized n either townshiprcounty asis,hassufferedbecauseof theartificial ature f thepolitical oundaries; ural-school ttendanceineshavebeen bletofollow osharplyifferen-tiated ocialboundaries;nd economic, ecreational,ndreligiousfunctionslsohavebeenadverselyffectedy theconfused atureofrural ocality roupings.Inpart he ackof learly efinedndwell-integratedommunityunitsn ruralAmerica sdue tothesettlementattern sed n ar-ranging hepopulation n the and. For themostpartthesingleorisolated armsteadrevails hroughoutheentire nitedStates.Where his sthecasecommunityines renecessarilyessdistinctthanwhere armers'omes reclusteredogethers n theEuropeanfarm illage. ut npart henebuloustate fAmericanommunityoutlinessduetothefailurefgovernmental,ducational,eligious,economic,nd othernstitutionsoplaytheir art n thedevelop-mentofdistinctnd integratedommunitynits.Whereattend-ance, axation,ndservice istrictsremarked ut n a haphazardmannerwithout espectosocialgroupings, eakas thesemaybe,theresults renotconduciveo thedevelopmentfa strongerom-munityonsciousnessnd ife.The foregoingommentshouldnotbeinterpretedomeanthatruralAmerica s entirelyacking ncommunities,utmerelyhatthesebasicsocialgroupingsrenotas healthy nd flourishingstheymighthavebeenwithmore ntelligentocialplanning.Certain ocialgroupingseemtobe inevitableoncomitantsfhuman ife.Kinshipgroupingsfferne ofthebestexamples f

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    388 TheJournalfEducationalociologythese.hefamilyasbeen bservedmongvery eople nownoanthropology.omekindofa localityroup lso falls nto hiscategoryf nevitableocial roupings.heneighborhoodndthecommunityre he rincipalroupingsf his ype. ecausef helimitationsftime,pace,nd man's bilityomove bout neorthe therrboth f hesewillbe foundneveryociety.hecom-munityrneighborhooday estrongrweak,heirutlines aybe distinctrblurred,ut vennrural mericaheyre lwaysobefound.hefacthatheirerritorialimitsan ervesboundariesfor ariouservicereass sufficiento make hem futmostm-portancenplanningctivities.The ommunity.hetermommunitysveryifficultodefinenany pecificense.npopularanguagets onnotationsary idely,and even n scientificsages ommunitys a highlymbiguousterm.n sociologicaliteraturet s used n twoprincipalenses,both fthem aving ery ood uthorityn theLatinderivation.Oneofthese efers erelyothe ualitiesf olidarity,utuality,ortogetherness;he econd enotespecificallybody f peoplein a definiteeographicrea.Inthe resenttage four ociologicalhinkinghemeaningt-tachedotheword ommunityasderivedrom hework ftwoprincipalroups fworkers.ne oftheses the urelyheoreticalgroup eaded yProfessorobertM. MacIver.Membersf thisgroup avecombinedheLatin onnotationsndhaveusedthetermommunityodesignateny ocialgroup aving definitelocalityasis. o quote romn earlywork yMacIver:Bycommunitymean ny rea f ommonife, illage,rtown, rdis-trict,rcounty,revenwider rea. o deservehe ame ommunity,heareamust e somehowistinguishedromurtherreas, he ommonifemay ave ome haracteristicsf ts wn uch hat he rontiersf he reahave omemeaning.''R. M. Madver, CommunityLondon:TheMacmillan ompany,9I7), p. 22.

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    TheCommunitynAmerican uralLife 389Morerecentlye hasgiven neven learer tatementfthis ositionin thefollowing ords:Any irclefpeoplewho ive ogether,hobelong ogether,o thatheyshare, ot his r hat articularnterest,ut whole et f nterestsideenough ndcompletenougho ncludeheirives,sa community.2The influencef this ine of thought pon currentociologicalpractice asbeen onsiderable.Even moreimportant,owever, specially orall those whowouldattemptouse the ommunityonceptnactivityrograms,including ural ducation, re thecontributionsfthegrouppio-neered y Dr. C. J.Galpin.Galpin'searlyWisconsin tudies, blyseconded y those f Sanderson ndhisstudents tCornell,KolbatWisconsin, aylor n Missouri nd NorthDakota, and manyothers orkingnthefield frural ociology,avedetermined ithsomedegree fcertaintyhe nature f thepresentocality roupstructurefruralAmerica, nd havepointedhedirectionnwhichit smoving.n sharp ontrast iththe workofMacdver nd hisassociates,heirworkhasbeen strictlympirical.Galpin'spioneerworkhas done most ogive soundorientationwith espectothemeaningttached otheword ommunitys wellas anunderstandingfthemanner nwhich tsboundariesmaybedetermined.e beganhiswork n a daywhen hinkingoncerningtherural ommunity as ina very ebulous tage. catteredettle-ment atterns,elativelyargeholdingsnly artiallyultivated,hepersistencefmany ocial haracteristicsfthefrontier,nd manyother actorset thetypicalAmerican andscape ntosharpcon-trastwith henucleated illage ettlementsf theoldworld.Earlyattempts y Butterfieldnd others etthelimits f therural ommunityn terms fthe teamhaul. Nevertheless,or hemost art, he loseof thenineteenthenturynd theopening ec-2R. M. Macdver,ociety: tsStructurend Changes New York: The Macmillan ompany,I931), pp. 9-IO.

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    390 TheJournalfEducational ociologyade ofthe wentieth asa periodn which hefarmer asthoughtofasa manwithout community.

    InterestinglynoughGalpinfirstensed henature f the nter-relatedwebof ife niting illagersnd farmersromhe urround-ingarea nto functioningocialgroupwhilehewasteachingnasmall-towncademynNew York State.As a health-seekingesi-dent fthe skims n theLake State's utoverrea, nd ater s anorganizer or milkcondensarynWalworth ounty,Wisconsin,Galpingraduallyameto a realizationf he ealnature f he uralcommunity.ater ttheUniversityfWisconsin eformulatednobjectiveerms isdefinitionf community,ndset orthn a pre-cisemannerhemodeofdeterminingts imits.Galpin'sclassic tudywas conducted nWalworthCounty.Hisproblemwas twofold: i) from hestandpointf thevillageortowntrade enter e sought odeterminell ofthe and area,allof thefarmhomesunder ts nfluence;nd (2) from hepointofviewofthefarm amily e sought o knowspecific amlet, illage,and town attachments. ata gatheredfrom each familywereutilized y ngeniousmapping evicesndeterminingherelation-shipsbetween achfarm amilynd thecentersfthecounty. nthesemapswererevealed or hefirstime hecommunityroup-ingsof an American ounty. urroundinghetwelve ownandvillage rade enters fthe ountywere welve rade onesor tradebasins ependentpontherespectiveenters,ounded y rregularlines, aying oregard opolitical oundaries,verlappingo someextent,ndoccasionallyhading ff ntosort f a no man's and.Tributaryo thetwelve radingnd commercialenterslso wererevealed levenbanking ones,sevendistributionreas for ocalnewspapers,welvemilksheds,ninehigh-schoolatronage reas,and four ibraryirculationreas.ConcludedGalpin:It is difficult,fnot mpossible,oavoidthe onclusionhat he radezone bout neofthese atherompletegriculturalivic entersormsthe oundaryf nactual,fnot egal,ommunity,ithin hich he p-

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    TheCommunitynAmerican uralLife 39Iparentntanglementfhumanifesresolvednto fairlynitaryystemof nterrelatedness.hefundamentalommunitys a compositefmanyexpandingndcontractingeatureommunitiesossessinghe harac-teristiculsatingnstabilityfall real ife.3Like theconcept laborated yMacIver,Galpin'sdefinitionn-cludesboth fthe onnotationshich he erm ommunityerivesfrom heLatin. nvolved re a definiteeographicalrea, ocial n-stitutions,nd social nteractionetween hepeople iving n thearea.UnlikeMacIver's oncept,hat volved yGalpincanreadilybe applied n the delimitationfspecificnd definiteommunityareas uchas those hat ouldbe used n determiningural-schoolattendanceones.'Theneighborhood.mphasis nthe ommunityhouldnot ausethe mportantoleoftheneighborhoodo be obscured. hesearethe mallest f the ocality roups. heyconsist fsmallclusters ffamilies. heyarethenextgroupbeyond hefamilyo havesocialsignificance.eighborhoodsre areaswithinwhichneighboringandmutual idarecommon ractices-theyreareaswithinwhichthefamilies reconscious fintimate elationswithone another.It shouldnotbeforgottenhatCooley ncluded heneighborhood,alongwith hefamilyndtheplaygroup,nhisclassof primarygroups. He styledsprimaryroups hose characterizedy nti-mateface-to-facessociationnd cooperation. ' heyareprimaryinthat hey rethemolds nwhich reset he ndi

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