The 2007 Southern Rural Sociological Association Presidential Address: After passing through eras labeled as “Small Town in Isolation” and “Small Town in Mass Society,” it is argued that we are now entering the era of “Small Town in Global Society.” Two factors that distinguish global society from mass society are worldwide competition and the reduced relevance of location. Outcomes of the transition to global society include the increased importance of amenity resources and a major economic structure transformation. To survive and prosper in a global society will require community leaders and development specialists to understand the inherent obstacles and constraints, and then to make informed decisions and take the appropriate actions. A typology to help understand and predict community change is developed and suggestions for community leaders, development specialists and researchers are provided.

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