Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Author ORCID Identifier
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Educational Sociology | Higher Education | Inequality and Stratification | Rural Sociology
In a country that once was 95% rural in the late 1700s, only 19.3% of the population of the United States now live in rural areas (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). The shift in population from rural to urban areas is not simply demographic; it imbues a shift in who and what matters. Only 13.6% of adults over 25 in Appalachian Kentucky have earned bachelor's degrees, 18.9% below the national average (Appalachian Regional Commission, 2016). This phenomenological study seeks to understand how rural, first generation, low income college students from Appalachian Kentucky experience a sense of belonging in their first year of college and how their understanding of their place identity impacts their belonging to both their institutions and their home communities. Through interviews and photographs, the students reveal how they developed a college going identity, the ways they belong and the tensions they felt with belonging at their colleges and universities, and how they experienced a place identity as Appalachian.
Abbott, Brenda, "Dropping the Invisibility Cloak: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Sense of Belonging and Place Identity Among Rural, First Generation, Low Income College Students from Appalachian Kentucky" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. 1622.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.