Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


Community centers were originally outside imports into an Appalachian culture that often placed much greater emphasis on individuality and family than on community but they continue to thrive in the region. Yet there have been important contributions from the region: L.J. Hanifan, Superintendent of Rural Instruction in the original WV Department of Education introduced the concept of social capital to the world. Miles Horton and the Highlander Center provide a direct link between Appalachia and the international settlement house movement. Senior centers may be the most pervasive type of community center in Appalachia today. Settlement houses, religious missions, senior centers, family resource networks and other multi-service centers are still found throughout the Appalachia,

Source Citation

A revised and edited version of this ms. was published in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Ruth Abramson and Jean Haskell, Eds. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 2006. 165-166.


Author's preprint.



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