Having All The Right Connections

Overview

Essays, based on five years of survey research in Iowa and case study examples from across the United States, examine the implications of telecommunications technologies for rural community development. Supported by data from five years of survey and case study research, telecommunications adoption and use is explored in nine sectors of the rural community to determine the influence these organizations and institutions have on telecommunications development within the broader rural community. These sectors ...

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Overview

Essays, based on five years of survey research in Iowa and case study examples from across the United States, examine the implications of telecommunications technologies for rural community development. Supported by data from five years of survey and case study research, telecommunications adoption and use is explored in nine sectors of the rural community to determine the influence these organizations and institutions have on telecommunications development within the broader rural community. These sectors include local government, economic development, business, newspapers, library services, health care, university extension to communities, and farming. Also considered are the factors that promote and retard telecommunications development, particularly the impact of telecommunications policy, the availability of state-of-the-art infrastructure and service, and the involvement of telephone companies in local community development. Using a community development framework, this work discusses the physical, financial, human and social capitals necessary for holistic community development and the significance of critical mass, the roles of internal and external networks, as well as vertical and horizontal linkages, and the importance of visionary leadership and the championing of telecommunications.

Social Science and telecommunications scholars will appreciate the interdisciplinary approach these case studies represent. In addition, this research is intended to assist local leaders, community service providers, businesses, community officials, and state policy makers in capturing the potential benefits of innovative telecommunications technologies for local economic development, while avoiding potential problems and pitfalls. Essays are organized in three sections. The first presents theory, policy, and issues within a community development framework. The second discusses perspectives and actions of community sectors in their adoption and use of telecommunications. The third examines what occurs within an organization as it implements a new telecommunications system. Charts and graphs enhance the text and a glossary of terms is provided.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275965822
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/2000
  • Pages: 366
  • Lexile: 1490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

PETER F. KORSCHING is a Professor with the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University.

PATRICIA C. HIPPLE has a long career as an applied sociologist with more than 20 years of experience in social research, program evaluation, policy analysis, human service administration, and education.

ERIC A. ABBOT is Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations vii
Acronyms and Abbreviations xiii
Part I Theory, Policy, and Practice: Setting the Stage for Rural Telecommunications 1
1 Rural America and the Information and Communications Revolution 3
2 Policy Initiatives and Rural Telecommunications 23
3 Telephone Companies: Providing All the Right Connections for Viable Rural Communities 39
4 When Public Leadership Outperforms Private Leadership: The Case of Public Telecommunications Utilities 61
Part II Using Telecommunications in the Rural Community 81
5 Rural Business and Telecommunications Technologies 83
6 The Community Newspaper in an Online Society 101
7 Rural Libraries: Conflicting Visions and Realities in the Information Age 121
8 Municipal Governments' Use of Telecommunications: Leading the Charge or Lagging Behind? 147
9 Telecommunications: A Complex Prescription for Rural Health Care Providers 173
10 Farmers, Computers, and the Internet: How Structures and Roles Shape the Information Society 201
Part III Making the Connections 227
11 What Happens When Information Technologies Are Forced on Rural Community Organizations? The Case of Iowa State University Extension 229
12 Telecommunications and Economic Development: Chasing Smokestacks with the Internet 257
13 On-Ramps and Road Blocks to the Information Superhighway 277
Glossary 293
References 307
Index 331
About the Contributors 345
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