Encouraging members of the public to get engaged in local decision-making is a key role of Extension educators. The study reported here explores whether local context influences which individuals choose to attend public meetings about the community and the environment. The study surveyed meeting attendees and non-meeting attendees in three contextually different counties in Northern Indiana. Findings are that determinants of participation are different in all three of these counties, suggesting that context is much more important in explaining participation than was earlier thought. Therefore, it is critically important that Extension personnel be able to understand the local context.
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Prokopy, L. S., Aldrich, D., Ayres, J., Amberg, S. M., Molloy, A., Mase, A. S., & Thompson, A. (2012). Context Matters: The Importance of Local Culture in Community Participation. The Journal of Extension, 50(2), Article 58. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol50/iss2/58