Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

Can't You See the Sun's Settin' Down on Our Town?: Decline, Space, and Community in Frisco City, Alabama

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in History

First Advisor

Ted Ownby

Second Advisor

Nancy Bercaw

Third Advisor

David Wharton

Abstract

This study examines the physical and social decline of Frisco City, a small town in southwest Alabama, and its residents' associations with changing spaces and communities in the downtown area and the Frisco City school. It includes a rephotography project hosted on a website and a short documentary film that demonstrate the changes in the downtown physical environment and residents' ties to its spaces. The group of residents interviewed for the study seemed to view the declining downtown area and school as signifiers of their declining community; the economic, social, and physical changes in the town's later history seemed to be accompanied by residents' continuing detachment from social networks based in town. In 2009, however, a new civic group formed in hopes of providing a solution for the town's decline by building new communities that share and care for restored spaces together.

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