Local Culture Development
Developmental trajectories of communities are usually explained by reference to economic history,human capital deficits, and/or the structure of local labor markets. Rarely is local culture seen as playing a significant role in development outcomes. Nor does empirical research routinely consider the role of local culture in fostering a more complete understanding of community development. Instead, culture is often viewed as an outgrowth of a particular region and dependent upon economic and other experiences, not an independent force. Such perspectives miss an important aspect of the development process.
Culture as a sense of Identity
The culture of a community significantly shapes debate and action.Local culture also presents unique options for locally based economic and other development. Local understandings and interpretations of a community's history reflect past events that feed into, and are partially driven by the demands, sentiments, and interests of those in the present. This makes it crucial for community development practitioners to consider the importance of culture in efforts to improve local well-being. By paying attention to, and incorporating unique cultural values, traditions, and related factors,more efficient and effective development efforts can be achieved.Local culture provides a sense of identity for rural communities and residents. This identity facilitates common understandings, traditions, and values, all central to the identification of plans of action to improve well-being. Culture contributes to building a sense of local identity and solidarity. Itinfluences the confidence rural communities have for coming together to address specific needs and problems. This local commitment among residents,regardless of economic or political conditions, canserve as a valuable tool in shaping the effectiveness of development options and local actions. Suchcommitment, based on culture and common identity,can be seen as a potentially important tool insustaining local government, development, and socialimprovement efforts