Title page for ETD etd-04262001-120307


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Utz, Heidi Lockhart
Author's Email Address hutz@vt.edu
URN etd-04262001-120307
Title Collective Identity in Appalachia: Place, Protest and the AEP Power Line
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Parker-Gwin, Rachel Committee Co-Chair
Wimberley, Dale W. Committee Co-Chair
Kiecolt, K. Jill Committee Member
Puckett, Anita M. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Social Movement Organizations
  • Appalachia
  • Place Identity
  • Collective Identity
Date of Defense 2001-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Previously, social movement theory has focused on constructs of identity, such as race/ethnicity, gender and sexual preference, for collective identity construction. Prochansky (1983:59) introduces the concept of place identity, situating it along with the other components of identity, such as the ones mentioned above. In addition, literature on Appalachia has shown land to be an important construct of Appalachian peoples identity. This paper analyzes, through content analysis, the collective identities of writers who wrote letters to the U.S. Forest Service in opposition to a proposed AEP power line. This power line was to run through lands in Appalachia, such as various private properties, the Jefferson and George Washington National Forests, and across the New River. Collective identities based on place-identity, specifically including land, were the main target of analysis, due to the importance of land for Appalachian people. This analysis suggests that land, as a type of place identity, does serve as a basis for collective identity.
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