Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Compton, D'Lane

Second Advisor

Baxter, Vern

Third Advisor

Ehrenfeucht, Renia


This qualitative study examines the participation of post-Katrina residents in neighborhoods of New Orleans’ Upper 9 th Ward. I examine respondent self-concepts and attachment to the community to gain understanding of how individuals participate in voluntary helping behavior in their locality. Interview data, brief economic and cultural examination of the area, and my observations as a resident of the Upper 9 th Ward inform analysis. The experiences of respondents suggest that there is a tension between an individual’s need to seek selfverificationand their understanding of themselves and others within their own neighborhood. Respondents’ understanding of the impact of their own actions and those of their neighbors reinstates theories of displaced attachment to local context in regards to local community involvement. Findings incite further research as to the division of individuals from their locality within the modern urban context.


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