Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dunaway, R. Gregory

Committee Member

Chi, Guangqing

Committee Member

Cossman, Jeralynn S.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Peterson, Lindsey

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


This study examines the relationship between transportation infrastructure and social well-being in the United States South, especially in the Black Belt. Specifically, this study focuses on the impact of airport accessibility and improvements on social well-being within the community capital framework in which built capital and political capital acted as a foundational basis for the broader concept of positive community capital. The results indicated that many cumulative disadvantages exist in the Black Belt of the southern United States. The research found that a higher level of airport accessibility is associated with a lower level of poverty and higher levels of health outcomes and net migration. The research further found that having a college and university in a community is associated with higher high school graduation rates, lower poverty rates, and lower unemployment rates. This research has important implications for addressing the cumulative disadvantages and isolation in the Black Belt.



Black Belt Rural||Airports||Transportation||Poverty