Alive on the High Plains: Constructing the Small Rural Community
Lookingbill, Dollie Mischel
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On the High Plains, communities are constructed according to individual and social connections to regional landscapes, cultures, and histories. Identifying and examining those connections, in addition to helping us understand how communities work, also illuminates spaces of inadequacy where regional communities can address harmful social and environmental practices. Using the theoretical concept of thirdspace in conjunction with community asset maps created by community-focused non-profits, I evaluate two similar rural communities according to three different perspectives—space, language, and ecology. In doing so, I reveal that communities are constructed according to both real and imagined elements that are highly influenced by historical narrative, cultural production, language, and natural ecologies.