Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Tom Hall


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


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (122 pages)



File Format