Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Bartkowski, John P.

Committee Member

Jones, James D.

Committee Member

Hempel, Lynn

Committee Member

Loewe, Ron

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


The number of leisure and working RVers roaming America?s highways, now conservatively estimated at over eight million, continues to increase (Curtin 2001; Sommer 2003). In spite of their growing presence and unique lifestyle, these populations remain sociologically understudied. This exploratory case study of two distinctly different RV parks is a small but significant step toward filling that research gap. At both RV parks I found a diverse population of individualists who value self-contained travel, freedom, relaxation, and sociality. In spite of sharing a collective, subcultural lifestyle, they differed along multiple axes. Marked differences separate RVers into three broad groups (full-timers, long-termers, and vacationers) and into multiple subgroups within those categories. I analyzed triangulated data sources using a theoretical lens that combines subcultural and boundary work theories. I concluded that full-time and long-term RVers practice boundary work and form subcultural identities based, primarily, on levels of commitment and divergent RVing practices.



Boundary Work||Subcultural Identity||Community||Recreational Vehicle||Transiency||Commitment