Title

Communities of Place? New Evidence for the Role of Distance and Population Size in Community Attachment

Keywords

rural living, rural sociology, community, Montana

Abstract

Historically, ecological features of a community, such as population size, were considered fundamental aspects of the community experience. Yet methodological advances and the rise of globalization have challenged many classical assumptions rooted in the ecological tradition. Using recent data—the Montana Health Matters Study 2010 (N = 3,508)—we explore whether community attachment links with distance and population size in Montana. Surprisingly, a statistically significant relationship to community attachment appears only when distance from urban centers and community population size are modeled together. Perceived quality of community services partly explains this relationship, but only for the distance measure. Altogether, as globalization is undoubtedly transforming rural life, we argue that “communities of place” may still endure when distance to urban centers and population size are simultaneously accounted for.

Original Publication Citation

McKnight, Matthew*, Scott Sanders, Benjamin G. Gibbs, and Ralph B. Brown “Communities of Place? New Evidence for Spatial Variation in Community Attachment” Rural Sociology 82:291-317.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2016-08-22

Publisher

Rural Sociology

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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