Anatomy of an annexation

Henry Evan Powderly, Fordham University


This study is a dissertation written as a story. Anatomy of an Annexation characterizes a 6 month period in a small rural/suburban school district in New York, as it considers the possibility of being annexed by a larger, contiguous district. School district merger is perceived by the state as the only solution to the financial and educational problems often found in small rural school districts. The research depicts the conflict of two community cultures experiencing the reorganization process. The "old culture" battling to maintain the existing school district and its beloved high school; the "new culture" struggling to become part of a larger, modernized secondary school replete with its extensive curricular and extra-curricular programs. Ethnographical research design and methodology were employed to investigate the state imposed annexation process and the two cultures of this changing community. The saga is viewed from the eyes of two protagonists whose personae are a composite of various members of their respective cultures. After the tale is told, the annexation process and the participants are analyzed from structural, human resource, political, and symbolic perspectives. Anatomy of an Annexation argues for the power of culture as school districts attempt to reorganize.

Subject Area

School administration|Educational sociology

Recommended Citation

Powderly, Henry Evan, "Anatomy of an annexation" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9412144.