Cultivating a Catholic Neighborhood: Space, Place, and Subcultural Identity

Master's Thesis


This study seeks to understand how a Catholic enclave simultaneously (re)constructs Catholic tradition and American community life in a Washington, D.C. suburb and the role that race, class, and neighborhood features contribute to this process of reconstruction. After conducting participant observation and interviews with 37 residents, I find that Catholics are engaging in the formation of a subcultural religious identity, which Smith et al (1998) theorize in their book on American evangelicals as a creation of boundaries and engagement with modernity. While neighborhood design does not determine social interaction, it fosters this Catholic community’s subcultural identity by facilitating face-to-face meetings and engagement with the broader neighborhood and metropolitan area.This study extends subcultural identity theory, not only by offering another case (Catholicism) but also by showing how space and place – and their attendant dimensions of race and class – are crucial to the development of a subcultural identity.


Attribute NameValues
Author Audra Julia Dugandzic
Contributor Kraig Beyerlein, Committee Member
Contributor Erika Summers-Effler, Committee Member
Contributor Lynette P. Spillman, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Banner Code
  • MA-SOC

Defense Date
  • 2019-05-13

Submission Date 2019-07-04
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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