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By Ross J. Gittell

This publication presents new insights into a major nationwide group improvement problem: find out how to stimulate the formation of certainly community-based agencies and powerful citizen motion in neighborhoods that experience now not spawned those efforts spontaneously.

Using evaluate examine and precise comparative examine of neighborhood improvement task in 3 assorted demonstration websites; Little Rock, New Orleans and Palm seashore county, the authors determine key components of creating social capital which strongly impact group improvement.

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Extra resources for Community Organizing: Building Social Capital as a Development Strategy

Sample text

Putnam, however, has been criticized for underestimating the ability o f newer organizations to foster change and overcome unfavorable conditions (Foley and Edwards 1996). To a degree, the L I S C demonstration related some of its program efforts to this potential and built into the program design activities through which newly organized C D C s could experience success, gain momentum, and start to build social capital. Yet, many argue (including critics of the L I S C demonstration in the local sites, such as A C O R N in Little Rock) that new associations cannot effect change without specifically and directly engaging in political issues and without representing compelling social interests.

The program devoted much more attention to educating volunteers and the support community about community development, trying to change attitudes and behavior, and building support for community development, than would have been necessary in more "mature" sites. In addition, priority was given to the recruitment o f minority staff. Lastly, expectations and objectives were influenced by the local contexts. There are also important aspects of the community development context that are not local. In our conceptual model, these are defined as external agents.

Miami, Dallas, and New Orleans), this learning process is more recent, and support for CDCs is more fragmented and uneven—a central issue that the L I S C national demonstration program sought to address. 5 • The Role of the Intermediaries Partly in response to federal withdrawal and partly in response to growing recognition o f the efficacy o f CDCs, C D C s ' institutional supporters—and the financial and political support they bring to bear—have increased rapidly in number and sophistication during the 1980s and 1990s.

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