The role of community agency in the rural community and economic development processes needs to be better understood in America and other advanced, industrialized nations. Community agency is vital to protecting, retaining, and maintaining rural communities. A comparative study was designed to explore the role of community agency in contributing to local well-being in Ireland and America. This role was evaluated through the use of a multiple method framework based on extensive key informant interviews, focus groups, and analysis of household survey data. Overall, the findings indicate social interaction was the most important explanation of community agency, followed by community attachment, social ties/networks, and sociodemographics. Important differences were noted between Irish and Pennsylvania respondents. In both nations, regression models indicated social interaction was the most important factor associated with community agency. Applied policy implications of these findings are advanced.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science