Apr 22, 2010

A Road to Nome

A Road to Nome is an article published in the Daily News-Miner and was published on the front page of Monday, April 5th 2010's issue. It can be found at this: link http://www.newsminer.com/view/full_story/6942052/article-Road-to-Nome-idea-gathers-support-from--Interior-Alaska-villages?

This article is about building a road from Manley Hot Springs to Nome. This would connect many out laying rural areas by an easily accessible highway. A road to Nome was proposed 10 years ago but at the point in time there economy was striving and there was no concern about increased fuel and grocery bills. With the failing economy, people living in rural villages can no longer afford to pay the incredibly high rates that come about when fuel has to be shipped 500 miles. Rural dwellers have also seen an increase in cost of shipping hundreds of pounds of groceries from Fred Meyer's a few times a year. Having a road to Nome with allow people to haul their groceries in at a severely reduced price. It would also decrease the cost of shipping fuel into rural villages which would ultimately cause a reduction in the cost of fuel which would allow more people to continue their life style in rural Alaska. A few individuals are still against the road being put in because it means easier access for city dwellers also. The rural people fear that the fish and game will disappear completely if people from urban areas can easily get to the rural areas.

I feel like this is a good mix of structural functionalism and conflict theory. Its conflict theory because people have opposed the road to Nome for decades and some still do oppose the proposal. It saddens me that people are having a road built against their wishes not because there group has lost control but simply because people who enjoy living this lifestyle can no longer afford to live in the rural areas of Alaska. I see this as structural functionalism because rural Alaska has been so inaccessible for so many hundreds of years, and building a road that connects many rural all at once to one main road greatly upsets the cogs of societal machine. All of a sudden these rural cities may not be rural any longer. More people may decide to move there because its affordable not that far from the nearest large city.

One question I thought of while reading and reviewing this article was once the main road to Nome goes in how many other villages will build roads connecting their village to the main road? And what will the repercussions of having an easily accessible community?

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