Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Robert M. Dimit


A research project was conducted in the Big Stone lake area. This area included Roberts and Grant Counties in South Dakota and the city of Ortonville in Minnesota. In 1969 a 2800 acre tract of land was purchased near Big Stone City, South Dakota by a consortium of three electric power companies. A 450 megawatt plant will be constructed on the site. The completion date is projected for the summer of 1975. This planned industrial facility for a relatively rural area provided an opportunity to study the effects of rural industrialization. This phase of the total research project ascertained the area residents' attitudes toward the community services prior to the beginning of construction on the site. A stratified random sampling procedure was used to select 179 heads of households. An interview schedule was used to ascertain personal, social, and economic characteristics of the respondents. A Likert-type summated rating scale was used to measure the respondents' attitudes toward the community services in the community with which they identify. The objective of the study was to determine the attitudes of area residents toward community services, and the degree of association between a set of socio-demographic characteristics and attitudes toward community services. A social systems theoretical framework was utilized as a basis for this study. A multi-variate stepwise regression technique was used to analyze the relationships between a set of selected independent variables (age, education, family size, length of residence, organizational participation, level of living, knowledge, religious affiliation, community identification, income, occupation, ownership of lakeside property, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions) and the dependent variable, attitudes toward community services. In general, the residents of the area hold favorable attitudes toward the community with which they identify. Of the independent variables in the set, attitudes toward community services were significantly influenced by the consumption of mass media as measured by the number of magazines in the home, and the community with which they identify for Ortonville residents. The general statistical hypothesis of no significant relationship between the set of independent variables and attitudes toward community services was not rejected. Two null sub-hypotheses, one relating to magazine subscriptions and the other to community identification (Ortonville) were rejected.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rural conditions
Sociology, Rural
Municipal services -- South Dakota
Big Stone Lake (S.D.)




South Dakota State University