A section is the property of a page, so you can't link the text to sections.
In cases where text will be reflowing, or if you don't have your sections broken by page breaks it recommended that you use Text Variables. If you have your section names in your document in a unique paragraph style, you can have them appear in your header of footer by following this document on Creating Headers and Footers.
I figured out how to use text variables. Thank you for pointing me to the solution.
Is it also possible to create "running blank pages"? This would help me because as my text reflows, a blank master page that I apply to the first pages of chapters gets "bumped".
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I believe there are some scripts around that will assign a master page based on a paragraph style, but I'm not sure that will help you if the positions of the pages keep changing.
I recommend breaking the document into individual stories for each section. When you do that, pagination changes don't ripple through in the same way -- your section will either be overset or leave blank space at the end, but the following pages will remain intact. Smart Text Reflow, which I hate and do not use, is probably capable adding or deleting pages at the ends of the sections as you edit.
it's too bad first pages of chapters cannot automatically be kept blank by assigning a master page to a paragraph or character style using indesign alone, but for now i will try the stories solution, thanks very much.
Dave Saunders wrote a scripte called DivideStory.jsx that automates splitting a story into two parts at the selected frame. He wrote it up at http://jsid.blogspot.com/2005/08/script-of-day-divide-story-into-two_31.html
The script was written for CS1 or CS2 and does not work directly in later versions, but it will work if you put it into a subfolder named "Version 4.0 Scripts" (without the quotes, and makes sure you spell everything correctly).