1. The function of Sociology as a science is to bring about that which is hidden. Pierre Bourdieu

Missouri Sociological Association

  1. Missouri Electronic Journal of Sociology -  2012 Archive



 

ISSUE 9

 

Implementing Social Capital:

A Rural Community's Struggle to Provide Shelter for the Homeless

 

Mark A. Bliss

University of Central Missouri

 

Abstract: In May, 2011, the Johnson County homeless shelter in Warrensburg, Missouri, closed its doors leaving a group of 20 residents displaced. The following December, the shelter reopened on a five-month lease by a collaborative community group named Johnson County Cares comprised of religious, social service, and various nonprofit organizations. This case study explores the role of social capital in this community's struggle to provide shelter for their homeless population. Interviews and document analysis revealed the story as to how the new organization provides not only a sustainable permanent shelter, but also a steadfast support network reflecting a more comprehensive interpretation of homelessness. It was found that rural shelters lack the resources, volunteers, and funds to manage complex social problems, but social capital gained through the collaboration of agencies can provide possibilities and resources unavailable to isolated agencies. Social capital acquired by collaborating with churches, social service providers, and homeless shelters from neighboring towns allowed for unique opportunities which unlocked unique assets. For example, Johnson County Cares was able to conduct a countywide homeless count, something that had not been performed for years, and as a result, legitimized Johnson County's need and eligibility for funding. From this study, communities can take the direction forged by organizations like Johnson County Cares to implement social capital through collaborative and holistic approaches to combat the recent rise in rural homelessness.

 

 





The Auto-mobile:

Speed, Roads and Curious Socio-Technological Dynamics

 

James P. Boyle Jr.

University of Missouri

 

Abstract: When one thinks of the development of a technology, it is often hard to see the social influences that helped to shape and reshape the technology. However, these social factors have influenced every technology, from making things faster, slower, safer, or cheaper and easier to produce. The technologies themselves have also worked back upon social dynamics, changing the way individuals and groups act within their social world. It is these complex dynamics that have guided the evolution of even the most taken for granted technologies that we use every day, such as the automobile and the very roads we travel on. Without the speedometer for example, we would not be able to properly gauge our speed and obey the speed limits, the rules that have evolved to keep the roads safe and effective modes of transportation for those that travel on them. As one can see, the direct interaction of technological dynamics and social dynamics have served to create the speedometer and regulated road systems we know today, exposing a complex web of socio-technological interaction.

 

 






Rural Dental Clinics' Impact on Travel Distance for Medicaid Children

 Joseph Squillace

MacMurray College

 

Stephen P. Wernet

St. Louis University

 

Abstract: When one thinks of the development of a technology, it is often hard to see the social influences that helped to shape and reshape the technology. However, these social factors have influenced every technology, from making things faster, slower, safer, or cheaper and easier to produce. The technologies themselves have also worked back upon social dynamics, changing the way individuals and groups act within their social world. It is these complex dynamics that have guided the evolution of even the most taken for granted technologies that we use every day, such as the automobile and the very roads we travel on. Without the speedometer for example, we would not be able to properly gauge our speed and obey the speed limits, the rules that have evolved to keep the roads safe and effective modes of transportation for those that travel on them. As one can see, the direct interaction of technological dynamics and social dynamics have served to create the speedometer and regulated road systems we know today, exposing a complex web of socio-technological interaction.








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