Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Peter F. Korsching


This is a study of community controversy in rural areas. It examines recent episodes of local dispute over livestock production practices in Minnesota locations---a type of controversy increasingly taking place in rural areas. The course of controversy over time is considered, as are frames of interpretation adopted in the place-based communities where controversy occurs. A combination of qualitative research methods are used, including semi-structured interviews, roundtable discussions, and review of media accounts, public records and historical documents.;Research findings support Coleman's 1957 model of community controversy and the dynamics in issues and social organization that emerge through the course of controversy. The recent controversy examined here follows the same course as those Coleman examined in the 1950s. Two themes noted in the research that are not articulated in Coleman's model are the role of bystanders in local controversy and the involvement of outsiders as the controversy proceeds.;Two distinct frames of interpretation are identified within the controversies examined---agribusiness and quality of life. These themes are consistent with the dynamics and elements of conventional and alternative agriculture paradigms. It is noted that preservation of family farming within the agribusiness frame identified in this research digresses from the conventional agriculture paradigm.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Kathy Sue Kremer



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

154 pages