Small Towns in Multilevel Society introduces an original, non-economic explanation of how small communities work and how their structure determines the well-being of residents. It then tests the main proposition using an inexpensive comparative technique to develop a sociological theory and methods package that can be applied anywhere in the world. Frank W. Young uses data from seventy-six towns in five New York counties to test his main propositions as a reply to central place theory and class analysis. The author explains that differentiation, pluralism, and solidarity interact with the mostly economic "transaction organizations" that do the daily work of the community to determine the average quality of life of the residents. Young argues that economic theory takes a secondary role in this assessment. His study sets high standards that allow for the systematic comparison of small communities and the correct identification of the multiple levels of structure, creating a clear picture of the actual well-being of residents in small communities.
Frank W. Young is Professor Emeritus of Rural Sociology at Cornell University.
chapter 1 Introduction chapter 2 The Comparative Study of Small Communities chapter 3 A Structural Theory of Community chapter 4 Ecology and History of Southern Tier Communities chapter 5 The Structural Dimensions of Communities chapter 6 Town Governance chapter 7 Transaction Organization chapter 8 Structure and Welfare chapter 9 Small Towns and Great Changes chapter 10 The Perspective of Sociological Structuralism chapter 11 Appendix chapter 12 References chapter 13 Index