The powerful influence of global consumerism and its strong effect on rural communities has led to calls for the “death of distance” and for the placelessness of community. However, skepticism remains that all unique elements of communities of place have been erased from rural life. Using data from Montana (N=3,508), this research investigates how distance, size, and other spatially-bound factors influence sentiments of community satisfaction and attachment in communities of place. Findings suggest that distance can decrease community satisfaction in highly rural communities and increase attachment in rural communities along the urban fringe. Perceived satisfaction with community services was a key unanticipated finding as the strongest predictor of community satisfaction and attachment. Therefore, this research argues that even though rural areas are being transformed through global consumerism, levels of community satisfaction and attachment continue to be diverse across place in significant but nuanced ways because of distance and community services.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
McKnight, Matthew L., "The Importance of Place in an Era of Placelessness? Distance's Influence on Community Satisfaction and Attachment" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4272.
distance, place, rural, sentiment, community satisfaction, community attachment