Many communities in the Southeastern United States have experienced dramatic social and demographic change during the past two decades. Much of this change is brought about by population growth as well as other socioeconomic transformations such as increases in per capita income and educational attainment. One result has been an obvious change in leadership and social structure at the county level as engendered by these population and socio-economic factors. The objective of this research is to examine the nature of leadership and structural change in a Southern county that has been experiencing this categorical type of transformation. More specifically, this research focuses upon how changes in local leadership affect the social structure and how this changed social structure affected decision making at the county level.

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