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Decision Making and Non-Decision Making in Cities: Some Implications for Community Structural Research
Richard A. Smith
American Sociological Review
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Feb., 1979), pp. 147-161
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094823
Page Count: 15
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The literature relating community structural characteristics to policy outputs generally has failed to account for communities not considering an issue as a third type of outcome beyond rejection and adoption. It is argued that nonconsidering communities are likely to be very different from both nonadopters which have considered a policy and have subsequently decided to reject it and from those adopting a particular policy. These types should be separated in research on community structure and community outputs. The current research distinguishes between these three outcome types for fluoridation programs and relates these distinctions to the three important community structural characteristics of structural differentiation, community integration and the centralization of authority within municipal governments. The results of the analysis support the hypotheses, showing that both affinities and disaffinities exist between the communities classified by the three-part outcome typology. Rejecters and adopters are shown to be similar in terms of levels of structural differentiation, and can be distinguished from the less differentiated, nonconsidering communities. Conversely, both nonconsiderers and adopters tend to be more highly integrated and exhibit a greater centralization of authority than rejecters.
American Sociological Review © 1979 American Sociological Association