Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Sociology


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

John J. Green

Second Advisor

Albert B. Nylander

Third Advisor

Anne Cafer

Relational Format



Understanding space and how space impacts uneven development is crucial when examining inequalities within sociology. Uneven development perpetuates the segregation of space, highlighting disparities in power and inequalities that are rooted in spatial design and relations. Characteristics like geographic location and history have long-term influences on development, yet are not able to be easily changed within a community. Historical events have helped shape the successes and failures of communities, creating a "path dependence" that goes beyond any one individual's control. There are, however, locally-modifiable characteristics of people in spaces, such as human and social capital. These community capitals can be recognized, and then cultivated to increase a community's agency, even in the face of accumulated disadvantage. This study takes a spatially-oriented approach to sociology to evaluate household income and family poverty when accounting for geographical, historical, and locally-modifiable characteristics. By analyzing publicly available secondary data using ols linear regression, I identify patterns regarding income and poverty as they relate to cumulative spatial disadvantage and locally-modifiable community capitals (human and social capitals) at the county level in the multi-state delta region of the U.S. by identifying locally-modifiable characteristics and their relationships to spatial disadvantages, I hope to equip leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to inform efforts to achieve better quality of life in their communities.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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