This study examines how a rural Midwest community views race and discrimination, and how these views affect community members’ experiences. The results of the survey provide a means of determining the lack of cultural competence and discrimination within a rural Midwest populace. The purpose of this research is to examine and analyze individual discrimination and racism in a Midwest rural community. A 10-question survey was administered to teachers, elderly individuals, law enforcement officers, and former students about their experiences with diversity within the community. The questions centered upon topics of race, discrimination, and personal experiences within the community. The data was examined for the emergence of similar themes and experiences of how the participants’ view race, whether they see discrimination as a pressing issue, and their general experiences of living and/or working in a small town. Most of the participants said that they had first been aware of their race around age 6, through cultural events or fellow community members. All participants agreed that racism still exists in America, and highlighted the role social media plays in creating a large virtual world full of different cultures that the rural populace is not able to reach in reality to understand. Based on the results of the survey, the racism in this rural Midwest community is better than in the past, but there is still more intolerance here than in multicultural areas.
Dr. Sridevi Menon
First Advisor Department
Dr. Sarah Pinto
Second Advisor Department
Peterson, Emily, "Racial Discrimination in a Rural Midwest Town" (2017). Honors Projects. 233.