Small Town and Rural Economic Development: A Case Studies Approach

By Peter V. Schaeffer; Scott Loveridge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 24
Ua Mau Na Po'e 'O Wai'anae Community Cultural Festival: An Experience in Community Collaboration

Linda J. Cox Dolores Foley, and Joseph Lapilio


INTRODUCTION

This case study examines a collaborative project in a rural Hawaiian community. The community was interested in economic development, and this project was seen as a way to encourage private and public sector collaboration to begin building the social infrastructure needed by the community. While the academic community has debated the exact definition of and parameters associated with the term "social capital" ( Castle 1998), the importance of the concept in community development has wide acceptance across disciplines ( Oakerson 1998; Kraybill 1998; Salmon 1998; Summers and Brown 1998). Flora et al. ( 1992, 234) offer a definition of social infrastructure as the "social capacity and the collective will of local communities to provide for their social and economic well being." The terms "social capital" and "social infrastructure" appear to be synonymous concepts. The model of social infrastructure put forth by Flora et al. ( 1997) details its three fundamental elements as: (1) legitimization of alternatives, (2) networks, and (3) mobilization of resources. These are the elements on which this case study will focus in analyzing the project's outcomes.


BACKGROUND

In 1996, Hawaii's economy had been in an economic downturn for six years, with the two largest industries--tourism and military services--showing no growth. Agriculture is the state's third largest sector, but with many sugar

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