Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

John Kneebone


ABSTRACT AN EXAMINATION OF METHODOLOGY IN COMMUNITY STUDIES By Lisa Vaughan Jordan, M.A. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2010. Major Director: Dr. John Kneebone, Associate Professor – Department of History This thesis examines correspondence between a mother, Alma Irene Vaughan and her son, Ammon Cliborne Vaughan from Darvills, Virginia, in the rural Southside area of the state, written during 1965-1967 when the son was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in the Army. In addition to presenting a background of rural southern history and insights gained through the study of these letters, the thesis also includes a historically edited transcription of the letters, as well as those of other members of the community and/or family. It also includes oral history interviews with surviving participants and those connected to this period through the correspondents. The first chapter presents a broad historical background of the rural South as it relates to this community and the lives of these individuals. The second chapter examines the process of historical editing, including history, practice and methods involved in the editorial process. It also includes the editorial method of the process of editing the letters in detail. The third chapter discusses the research methodology involved in the oral history component, including validity, methods of analysis, and presentation of data. The fourth chapter contains selected transcriptions of both the letters and interviews, providing annotations as footnotes. Chapter five concludes with an analysis of insights gained through the study of the Vaughan letters relating to rural southern history and the process of documentary editing.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010

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History Commons