Fragmentation of social structures in depressed areas
Nature: When a community loses its main source of income, social care structures become fragmented. The company which provided the majority of people with employment (such as the mining company in a village which has grown up around a mine), usually also provided every form of care and social life. The closing of such a business creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and diminishing services. The community seems to lose its sense of direction and forgets how to work together. Local festivals become less significant and lose their appeal because they are oriented to a life that no longer exists. Young people have to travel considerable distances to good schools, involving them in time and expense and leaving little time for extra-curricular activities, since disillusionment among teachers and adults in general means that local schools find it difficult to provide socially relevant education or after school activities. Previously active older people are restricted by the changes occurring and find their roles in the town are curtailed. General social life declines, leaving a number of empty halls whose use no longer justifies the cost of their upkeep.
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 23.04.2000 – 00:00 CEST