Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology

First Advisor

Michael L Dougherty


Small cities, with their mix of urban capacity and small-town charm, are a promising environment for interactive and inclusive citizen engagement. However, small cities have received very limited attention by sociological and planning literature, and even less attention has been paid to the leaders of small city communities. This study contributes to this gap through an analysis of the dynamics of participation between small city leaders and their constituents from the leaders’ perspective. Studying up through interviews with planners and officials of a midwestern small city, this study examines how small city leaders pursue citizen engagement while managing the bureaucratic expectations of their work. This study found structural constraints within the work including organizational, methodological, political and social expectations that expended functionaries' capacity to conduct robust citizen engagement.


Imported from Green_ilstu_0092N_11778.pdf


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