Conducting Research in Rural Appalachia - Cultural and Practical Considerations
(6/3/2013) 57 minutes


For those living outside the region, rural Appalachia has historically conjured up images of poverty and despair. Eleanor Roosevelt visited the area during the New Deal era, highlighting the plight of the coal miners, but since then, there has not been much attention to an area that is stricken by poverty and unemployment. Movies like "Deliverance" have portrayed the Appalachian region as one of backward living and incestuous relationships. For decades, rural Appalachia has been relatively hidden from view, and as a consequence, the health disparities within the area have gone largely unnoticed by the general public. The resilience and determination of the people of this region has kept a small but dedicated group of volunteers, health care providers, and academics working in the area. While isolated local efforts by volunteer, academic and faith-based groups in communities in rural Appalachia have been providing various services, the need for more col! laborative efforts exists to strengthen local social capital. [Recent media attention] sparked a national resurgence in interest for the area, which will hopefully lead to the further development of interdisciplinary and community-based research and interventions to address the health disparities of Appalachia." - From: "Rural Appalachia: Disparities within Disparities" (M. Salob, Jefferson Policy Journal).

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