Resource Transformation Through Capitalization Processes in Community Economic Development
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This dissertation presents a critical institutionalist theory of resource transformation through capitalization processes in the context of community economic development. The arguments are presented through three articles. The first chapter is introductory and provides a synthesis of the main arguments in the articles that follow. The first article (Chapter II) provides a brief conceptual history of the term ‘capital’ and continues by articulating a capital as process. The Community Capitals Framework provides several insights that shape the conception of resources and their use in the context of community economic development. A metatheoretic framework is developed in which emergent resource capitalization processes are seen as a social relation through which agents, constrained and enabled by both resource structures and cultural systems, pursue their development agendas by utilizing those resources they have access to in order to transform them into resources they desire. The second article (Chapter III) seeks to identify a set of processional properties associated with capitalization processes. The eight properties are identified as: transformation capacity, temporality, cultural embeddedness, expected future yield, identifiability, flexibility, reliability, and variability/conditionality. This set of properties serve as a vocabulary by which diverse capitalization processes are analyzed and employed. Establishing a clear distinction between a community’s resources and the processes involved in capitalizing them requires non-conflationary properties associated with each. The final article (Chapter IV) serves as an application of the framework developed in the first two articles by developing a theory of resource transformation through capitalization processes in community development. This theory is evaluated by conducting a case study of the establishment of the Ithaca HOURS initiative in Ithaca, NY, during the early 1990s. This community-led initiative established a community currency, Ithaca HOURS, in order to stimulate local economic activity.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- The emergence of community capitals -- The processional properties of capitalization -- Resource transformation through capitalization: an Ithaca HOURS case study -- Appendix A. Ithaca HOURS Transactions Table -- Appendix B. Five Months in the Life of an HOUR
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)