Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Amber Kinser

Committee Members

Andrew Herrmann, Wesley Buerkle


This research examines limitations presented to gay men living in south central Appalachia that are produced by Appalachian culture itself, in regard to community formation. This qualitative study intersects existing scholarship on rural sexualities, gay communities and Appalachian culture in order to gain insight into the complexities that effect men in the region. The data is synthesized through a contextual dialectics framework in order to position both the Appalachian culture in its entirety, and gay men residing in the region, as agentic actors that are simultaneously informed by and produce tensions between the two. This study explores ways in which gay men in south central Appalachia determine and rectify obstacles that are perpetuated by their conservative culture in regard to forming social bonds with other non-heterosexual men. The current study extends the body of scholarship on rural non-heterosexualities, and underscores contextual complexities specific to the Appalachian region of the US.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.