Date of Award

Summer 8-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn A. Kozaitis

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine B. Hankins

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Patico


This study investigates the phenomenon of faith-motivated actors in blighted inner-city neighborhoods on the west side of Atlanta, Georgia. In merging community development literature with a framework of place, this research explores the role of faith in neighborhood transformation efforts. In particular, it examines the motivations and values of these actors that shape how they conceptualize their neighborhoods and in turn how these values are then inscribed into place. Fewer than 40 strategic neighbors are known to be active in Atlanta’s west side; of these 32 participated in the research through in-depth interviews, surveys, diaries and other qualitative research methods. Through this extensive qualitative investigation, this thesis explores the middle-class identity struggles experienced by participants as they reconfigure the social and material spaces of their neighborhoods as they live out their faith.


Included in

Anthropology Commons