DOI link for Social Infrastructure
Social Infrastructure book
Communities with strong social infrastructure tend to have a relatively high degree of social equality and a significant middle class. Strongly polarized communities, with great distance between a small elite and the rest of the community, tend to have weak social networks and weak social infrastructure. "The Will to Survive" illustrates several aspects of social infrastructure in two quite different communities in Caliente, Nevada and on the Kaibab Paiute reservation in Arizona, just across the Utah border. An important part of effective social infrastructure is to be able to disagree with someone and respect them. Both Caliente and Kaibab have worked hard at maintaining openness and diversity of opinion and a climate in which opinions can be shared, discussed, and changed, an extremely important part of social infrastructure that is often missing in many communities. Social infrastructure is made up of social organization, both formal and informal, social symbols which allow leaders to function, and economic infrastructure to be utilized.