Special districts and social cohesion: an initial study
by Larita J. Killian
International Journal of Critical Accounting (IJCA), Vol. 11, No. 2, 2020

Abstract: The USA is experiencing increased social and economic fragmentation. Various explanations are offered, but an overlooked factor may be increasing reliance on special districts (SDs) to deliver public services. This study draws from ethical discourse theory to investigate the relationship between SDs and social cohesion. Using male incarceration rates as an indicator for levels of social cohesion and marginalisation, this study finds that as the different types of SDs within a state increases, male incarceration rates also increase. This initial study does not posit causality. Relying on SDs to deliver public services may lead to reduced social cohesion and increased marginalisation, as ethical discourse theory suggests. Alternatively, it may be that reliance on SDs and male incarceration rates are both functions of other factors that reduce social cohesion.

Online publication date: Wed, 05-Feb-2020

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