Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-14-1971


In recent years an increasing number of social scientists have accepted the general position that economic change will lead directly to behavioral change among the poor. Thus far, this position has remained untested due to the lack of data on social experiments eliminating poverty-inducing conditions. This study of the Northern Ute Indian reservation in northeastern Utah questions this situational view of poverty. The amount o f investment capital acquired by the Northern Utes over the past 65 years makes their experience unique in the history of community development. In addition to money received in large financial settlements for land and mineral royalties, investment capital has been made available to the tribe through various agencies engaged in the government’s anti-poverty programs. Never has so much been spent among such a small population in an effort to induce socioeconomic change. This study describes the conditions under which economic development occurred and analyzes the change in the behavior norms of the tribal members. In particular, it attempts to illustrate the effect of new economic opportunity on family structure, work performance, political participation, and ethnic identity.