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

Minjoo Oh

Third Advisor

Kirk Johnson

Relational Format



This study was designed to address how a community survives in the context of sustained population loss in an international context. Crooked Island, located in The Bahamas, has experienced a steady population decline over the last several decades. This research focused on how family networks and communication technology are used by Crooked Island residents to develop relationships and build community in the face of population loss from out-migration. The causes and effects of population loss are examined, and then community field theory and the interactional approach are used to understand the processes residents engage in to address place-relevant problems such as demographic changes. Mixed-methods were employed in this study. The study applied available secondary demographic data from The Bahamas Department of Statistics to assess trends in population change. Additionally, the research included field observations and 16 in-depth interviews with people abroad and residing in Crooked Island. The demographic changes caused by out-migration are due to underdeveloped infrastructure and high unemployment. Several significant benefits of community agency and the homecoming (a biennial planned social events) were identified that facilitate keeping the sense of community alive and community attachment strong. Community actors use grassroots efforts to sustain the community identity despite population loss in hopes of supporting an annual island wide homecoming.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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