Open Access Honors Program Thesis
Communication research has typically focused on relationship development in fairly regular, true-to-life settings; there is a lack of focus on friendships that grow out of situations in which people have no relational alternatives. This ethnographic study of the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) offers a contrast: observations, interviews, cultural artifacts, and researcher memories shed light on the friendship processes within various groups of four college-aged individuals who are assigned as work teams for 12 weeks. Together the members of these teams repair homes, oversee volunteers, and typically form relationships that reach a deeper level than most friendships. The study of how these relationships form is unique to ASP but also provides a basis of knowledge for future studies of similar situations, such as military units, in which dependent coworkers co-create a cultural unit through self-disclosure, rituals, and co-habitation.
Year of Submission
Department of Communication Studies
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (122 pages)
©2012 Rachel Elizabeth Tish
Tish, Rachel Elizabeth, "From Strangers to Siblings: An Ethnography of the Appalachia Service Project Summer Staffers" (2012). Honors Program Theses. 899.