This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Disinvestment: Heirs’ Property and Food Desert across the Deep South and Appalachia




Shin, Jihyun

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



The culture of poverty argument is popular in the United States, especially in the South. Victim-blaming masks the structural nature of the problem. While individual explanations of poverty might be popular, they fail to acknowledge the broad scale and harsh concentrations of unmet needs. There are many correlates of poverty that create a relentless reality in many underdeveloped rural communities. The Black Belt, Mississippi Delta, and the hollows of Appalachia each manifest disadvantage and poverty differently. Accordingly, this study will apply multivariate regression models and GIS visualizations to examine both the intersection and independence between heirs’ property hot spots and food deserts alongside a series of demographic and well-being indicators. In doing so, this paper strives to bridge these two distinct fields of literature into a single study examining social relations and their spatial implications.