Profiling Participative Residents in Western Communities* Academic Article uri icon


  • Differences between old-timers and newcomers and their effects on community social dimensions have been the object of much research. These studies have shown how extensive in-migration of people with different socioeconomic backgrounds, values, and perspectives contribute to heightened social conflict in some communities. Popular media accounts and some social science research referred to the conflict emerging from these differences as a culture clash. This study examines the effects that different backgrounds, attitudes, and behaviors have on community participation. Here, earlier work on differences in participation levels between seasonal and permanent residents is extended in an attempt to identify structural and interactional characteristics associated with participative citizens regardless of their residential status. A profile of participative residents was found. Knowing these characteristics helps identify people who could bring important and useful insights to local decision-making. These residents make a deliberate choice to purposively engage in community efforts. Such voluntary interaction creates a pro-community environment where needs and solutions are tackled by residents. Additionally, this interactive environment serves as a ground for the reduction of differences among community members. Through this process, community development is achieved, enhancing community well-being. Copyright © 2008 by the Rural Sociological Society.

author list (cited authors)

  • Matarrita‐Cascante, D., & Luloff, A. E.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • March 2008