Files in this item



application/pdf3023133.pdf (9MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Going Mobile in Rural America: The Community Effect Rural Trailer Parks on Child and Youth Development
Author(s):MacTavish, Katherine Anne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Salamon, Sonya
Department / Program:Human and Community Development
Discipline:Human and Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:A mobile home park offers lower-income rural families access to the American dream of owning a stand-alone-home. Yet little is known empirically about what is emerging as an increasingly common rural residential form. The dissertation answers whether, for children and youth of working-poor rural families, a rural trailer park produces a community effect that supports social mobility as does a small-town, or narrows life chances, as does an urban ghetto. A controlled-comparison design focuses on the major poor population in two distinct U.S. rural regions, European-Americans in the Midwest (Illinois) and Hispanics in the Southwest (New Mexico). Using qualitative ethnographic methods, the study assesses the community effect for trailer park residence on children and youth at the levels of town, school, neighborhood, and home identified as most relevant to development during middle-childhood (ages 8--10 years) and middle-adolescence (ages 14--16 years). At each level of social organization, children and youth are challenged to access those community social resources and experiences vital to successful development. Findings show that while trailer parks in rural Illinois and New Mexico do not replicate an urban ghetto effect in the countryside, neither do the parks approximate the positive effect of small-towns, for youth in particular. A rural trailer park presents a pathway to a better life only for those children and youth who, through individual entrepreneurial efforts construct a resourceful developmental context in the wider social arenas of neighborhood and community. Without individual entrepreneurial attributes, most park children and youth travel a pathway predicted by parental working-poor class-status, or that of their densely clustered park neighborhood.
Issue Date:2001
Description:180 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023133
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2001

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics