Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Public-private partnerships as a new organizational form for delivering health and human services to those who require them remains an under-studied but important topic of research in an era significantly influenced by the weakening of the traditional civic welfare infrastructure. Based on two years of ethnographic research including in-depth interviews and participant observation, this research aimed to understand better how the concept of community held by members of the public-private partnership influenced their collective attempts to create a full-service community school program in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago. Research revealed that members of the partnership negotiated and contested the idea of community which then had direct effects on their expectations and implementation efforts in the neighborhood. A small group, representing different organizations and leadership levels within the larger partnership held a similar idea of community which united them in their shared strategies to respond to traditional organizational authority structures. Research also revealed that neighborhood voices and those of school officials played little role in the partnership's efforts to imagine and implement the community school model, suggesting that public-private partnerships like these might be more likely working on "behalf" of the neighborhood as opposed to with the neighborhood in efforts to create community-level change.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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