Social Networks, Poverty and Development: An Analysis of Capacity Building in Arizona and New Mexico Colonias

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195678
Title:
Social Networks, Poverty and Development: An Analysis of Capacity Building in Arizona and New Mexico Colonias
Author:
Donelson, Angela J.
Issue Date:
2005
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Since the early 1960s, scholars and policymakers have struggled to understand the appropriate role of government in effectively using resources to alleviate poverty. While early U.S. anti-poverty efforts emphasized place-based strategies, such as government-directed infrastructure investments, approaches have gradually shifted to favor civil sector efforts that build community capacity. Efforts to strengthen community capacity have emphasized enhancement of community participation, improvement of governance and strengthening of accountability. Yet, despite the growing emphasis on capacity building, rural regions such as the US-Mexico border region, Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta and Native American country have remained poor.This dissertation argues that government institutions have failed to improve conditions in poor, rural regions because current efforts ignore the broader context and fail to understand the needs of both formal organizations and informal participants. This research argues that without an adequate conceptual framework for assessing these three factors - the structural environment, community-based organizations, and local society -- federal investments cannot change local conditions. A conceptual model integrating these factors is applied to the case of poor, unincorporated colonias located in Arizona and New Mexico counties bordering Mexico. The empirical application of the conceptual model relies on methods integrating both regional and local analysis. The regional analysis is used to develop a socioeconomic index of deprivation. The index accomplishes two objectives. First, it reveals patterns of deprivation, uncovering the relationship between the impact of location (proximity to metropolitan and border areas) on the level of socioeconomic deprivation. Second, it is applied to select five cases for further analysis. The local analysis integrates qualitative research and formal social network methods. Unlike other studies of community capacity, which mostly rely on qualitative case studies, formal social network analysis is used to identify structural differences regarding how community organizations and individuals build autonomy and linkage with local and non-local organizations to improve the quality of life.This research improves understanding - both from conceptual and methodological perspectives -- of how to analyze rural poverty so as to better design federal government programs that will better serve poor communities, especially those in unincorporated areas.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
capacity building; social networks; poverty; development; colonias
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Geography; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Esparza, Adrian X.
Committee Chair:
Esparza, Adrian X.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleSocial Networks, Poverty and Development: An Analysis of Capacity Building in Arizona and New Mexico Coloniasen_US
dc.creatorDonelson, Angela J.en_US
dc.contributor.authorDonelson, Angela J.en_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractSince the early 1960s, scholars and policymakers have struggled to understand the appropriate role of government in effectively using resources to alleviate poverty. While early U.S. anti-poverty efforts emphasized place-based strategies, such as government-directed infrastructure investments, approaches have gradually shifted to favor civil sector efforts that build community capacity. Efforts to strengthen community capacity have emphasized enhancement of community participation, improvement of governance and strengthening of accountability. Yet, despite the growing emphasis on capacity building, rural regions such as the US-Mexico border region, Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta and Native American country have remained poor.This dissertation argues that government institutions have failed to improve conditions in poor, rural regions because current efforts ignore the broader context and fail to understand the needs of both formal organizations and informal participants. This research argues that without an adequate conceptual framework for assessing these three factors - the structural environment, community-based organizations, and local society -- federal investments cannot change local conditions. A conceptual model integrating these factors is applied to the case of poor, unincorporated colonias located in Arizona and New Mexico counties bordering Mexico. The empirical application of the conceptual model relies on methods integrating both regional and local analysis. The regional analysis is used to develop a socioeconomic index of deprivation. The index accomplishes two objectives. First, it reveals patterns of deprivation, uncovering the relationship between the impact of location (proximity to metropolitan and border areas) on the level of socioeconomic deprivation. Second, it is applied to select five cases for further analysis. The local analysis integrates qualitative research and formal social network methods. Unlike other studies of community capacity, which mostly rely on qualitative case studies, formal social network analysis is used to identify structural differences regarding how community organizations and individuals build autonomy and linkage with local and non-local organizations to improve the quality of life.This research improves understanding - both from conceptual and methodological perspectives -- of how to analyze rural poverty so as to better design federal government programs that will better serve poor communities, especially those in unincorporated areas.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectcapacity buildingen_US
dc.subjectsocial networksen_US
dc.subjectpovertyen_US
dc.subjectdevelopmenten_US
dc.subjectcoloniasen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGeographyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorEsparza, Adrian X.en_US
dc.contributor.chairEsparza, Adrian X.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMulligan, Gordon F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPavlakovish-Kochi, Veraen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBrieger, Ronalden_US
dc.identifier.proquest1072en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137353819en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.