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Laura Crank
Doctoral Research Assistant

University of Missouri-Columbia

208 Gentry Hall
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO, 65201, USA
Phone: (573) 424-1949


  • Rural communities
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Latino studies
  • qualitative research
    Future Research In my dissertation research, I will explore how new telecommunication technologies are being utilized to improve the capacity for collective action in rural communities. There has been very little empirical research that has studied the effects of the deployment and application of ICTs in rural communities. There has not been a systematic empirical investigation published in this specific area of literature to date. Published materials include those from state policy perspectives and governmental agency reports about rural grant recipients and the evaluation of their programs' outcomes. Through my study, I plan to lay out a comprehensive framework regarding how ICTs will affect the process of building community capacity. I argue that social infrastructure provides a basic potential for community capacity that becomes fully activated by an active citizenry (via civic engagement). The social infrastructure of rural communities must contain norms, values, skills, resources, and social ties that support the engagement of citizens and provides a fundamental basis for broad forms of capacity. Once citizens are engaged and are committed to local community projects, the capacity to work together to solve problems has become enhanced.

                          a Section of the American Sociological Association