Term of Award

1993

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Roger Branch

Committee Member 1

W. Jay Strickland

Committee Member 2

Howard M. Kaplan

Abstract

There are a number or approaches to the measurement or community power. One is the reputationai method, which focuses upon its perception. It was originally developed during the 1950's by Floyd Hunter as an instrument that measures the reputation tor global levels or power. This approach has been criticized tor failing to address such perceptions as they apply to specific situations. In particular, it does not measure the power of actors and groups from different arenas and their abilities to influence policies and decisions based on those issues affecting the community. The author proposes a reputationai model that focuses upon the perception or various aspects or community power. During the preliminary phase or this approach, social issues important to the people in the community are identified, as well as those arenas in which relative policies and decisions are made. The model also includes two complementary measures or community power as it is exercised by individuals and organizations within a global context. The first focuses upon the perception or power over policies and decisions originating with a number or different arenas and affecting the resolution or specific issues: the second measure, however, is not as clearly defined and disregards the importance or issues ana arenas in depicting local distributions. In addition, the model includes a variety or indices designed to isolate certain aspects or power and rocus upon its relationship to issues addressed within speciric arenas. These indices are operationaiized through questionnaires that serve to avoid the inherent assumption or a monolithic power structure characteristic or Hunter's traditional approach. The need ror application and further testing is discussed.

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