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Folknography study to focus on Porter Gap


What are their lives like and what are their opinions?

Researchers from Ohio University Southern will travel the four miles of Porter Gap Road (County Road 21) later this year to get answers to such questions. Communications Professor, Dr. Dave Lucas said some of his students will conduct a study of the residents and their lifestyles along that roadway as part of his folknography program.

Lucas said Porter Gap Road was chosen as a target for his study since it runs fairly close to the city limits of Ironton,

can be easily mapped and set to research grids and because it seems to hold a portion of every aspect associated with the Appalachian region.

"Having viewed a lot of Appalachia, we look at this (Porter Gap) as a microcosm of Appalachia. We'll look at the history, background, culture and life of Lawrence County."

Researchers will gain information for their study through interviews, focus groups, casual and directed observations and through various forms of electronic media. Residents will be told their participation is optional.

Lucas said there are also plans for a health fair, community picnic and several town meetings during the study.

Lucas said the intent of the study is not to embarrass anyone or ridicule them but to gain information about how they live.

"The whole idea is to give people a voice," Lucas sad. "This is not a matter of making anyone look like less than good citizens of Lawrence County."

The study will began in the latter part of the summer and should take a year to complete.