Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology


Empirical techniques to measure structural characteristics of community action are presented. Community field theory is used to conceptually describe community action structures. Community fields are defined as emergent social structures through which local action becomes coordinated to meet broad community objectives;Network analysis, a method for studying structures of social relationships, is shown to be highly concordant with community field theory. Two distinct types of network analysis models are illustrated using data collected in a central Iowa community;One model measures the degree to which special interest fields in the local society are coordinated with one another. Coordination is studied in terms of actor's participation in institutional interest fields. Actors who participate in multiple special-interest fields are presumed to provide a coordinative linkage between them;Empirical findings for the central Iowa community indicate relatively strong coordinative linkages among six of eight identified special-interest fields. These findings are shown to be useful for diagnosing existing community action structures, for guiding the development of planned change strategies, and for evaluating community development programs;The second type of network model measures actors' leadership prominence in the community field structure. Leadership prominence is conceptualized as a property of the actor's position in the structure of goal-directed social action. This measure was available information about the direct and indirect social relationships among all actors identified as participants in institutional interest fields. It accounts for behavioral roles that contribute to the multi-interest orientation of the community field. This measure identifies prominent actors in the community field as well as in special interest fields and can be used by practitioners to locate individuals who can facilitate or block planned change programs;In addition to illustrating empirical measures, several alternative directions for future research are discussed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Bradley Jay Anderson



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File Size

182 pages