April 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Hockenberry Presents on Distressed Appalachian Counties at Conference

Jacklyn Hockenberry with her poster the Appalachian Studies conference in April 2017

Jacklyn Hockenberry ’17M, a graduate student in the Sociology M.A. program, recently presented research at the 40th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference last month in Blacksburg, VA.

She worked closely with Dr. Cindy Anderson and Dr. Ted Welser to compile a data set that was used to test predictors of migration within the Appalachian Region. She presented her research on “Distressed Appalachian Counties: An Analysis of Appalachia, Migration, and Education” during the poster session of the conference with several other presenters.

Hockenberry’s study focuses on migration patterns at the county-level within the Appalachian region. In order to see how migration patterns are created, she uses variables including unemployment rates, age, and educational attainment as predictors for migration trends. By using these variables as predictors for migration, she is able to predict the probability of moving from a distressed county or non-distressed county within Appalachia.

“Preparing for the conference was a lot of hard work but also a great learning experience,” Hockenberry says.

“I did not expect my research to garner much attention, but my poster was received very well among the crowd and generated good academic discussion on migration and Appalachia. I am very grateful to have had the experience to attend the conference and hope I am able to attend again in coming years.”

The mission of the Appalachian Studies Association is to promote and engage dialogue, research, scholarship, education, creative expression, and action among a diverse and inclusive group of scholars, educators, practitioners, grassroots activists, students, individuals, groups and institutions. Its mission is driven by a commitment to foster quality of life, democratic participation and appreciation of Appalachian experiences regionally, nationally and internationally.

“Extreme Appalachia” is the theme for the 40th annual Appalachian Studies Conference. “Extreme” here means the impassioned commitments people have to the region, the land, and Appalachian communities, ways of life, and livelihoods. And the ways extreme economics—excessive resource extraction and use, underfunding of public education and services, and dismal job opportunities—have sparked community resilience and activism that advance a sustainable future for the region. “Extreme Appalachia” also references exploitative pop culture products like reality television programming—as well as the countering power of the region’s visual, performance, and literary arts to nurture, provoke, and inspire. In the face of extremity, regionalist scholarship continues to augment ongoing struggles for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *