(Dis)Engagement and Everyday Democracy in Stigmatized Places: Addressing Brain Drain in the Rural United States Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Western States Communication Association. This study explores rural young adults processes of engaging in practices of everyday democracy after the loss of the areas largest employer introduced stigmas of unemployment, stagnation, and abandonment. When young people decided to participate in community life despite these stigmas, they primarily engaged through selective participation via their affiliations with nonstigmatized groups or by challenging stigma through acts of creation. In explaining their rationales for these strategies, participants positioned themselves as occupying liminal spaces or as directly answerable for creating a particular type of community. We discuss implications of each position for addressing the practical problem of brain drain.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Wolfe, A. W., Black, L. W., Munz, S., & Okamoto, K.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Wolfe, Anna Wiederhold||Black, Laura W||Munz, Stevie||Okamoto, Kristen

publication date

  • March 2017