Chapter 5 Location, informal institutions and social network effects on rural American community responses to globalization
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This chapter examines the different place-specific challenges in developing formal institutional structures to build sustainable communities in the United States. This includes geo-spatial advantages and disadvantages but also those that stem from cultural traditions that create different types of social network structures in households and leadership in different communities. The ability of some ethnic communities to adapt to changing conditions by retaining their community attachments while, at the same time, assimilating into the larger society is explained in terms of long-term institutional arrangements supported by their cultures. These advantages, however, are not replicable in most groups. The solution for the latter groups requires an appreciation for well-designed scientific studies and comparative data bases that will identify ways to adapt formal institutional arrangements to their specific cultural and social network characteristics. In this regard, important lessons can be learned from both the failures and successes in international development projects.

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