Date of this Version
Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1948. Department of Sociology.
The community of Huskerville, which was established under the auspices of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Nebraska, is a project created for the express purpose of affording shelter and living space to student-veterans and their families. Huskerville and the other communities like it represent in many ways a new pattern of group living. Primary among the factors which help to distinguish Huskerville as a special and atypical community is the high degree of homogeneity in the cultural aspects of its population.
The problem of this thesis, then, becomes that of determining the nature of social interaction and social structure in the special community, especially as these social phenomena are affected by the variables of high mobility and extreme homogeneity which characterize the Huskerville society.
The community of Huskerville lies approximately eight miles northwest of the city of Lincoln, Nebraska and is located within the area occupied by the Lincoln Army Air Field during World War II. The buildings which comprised the base hospital of the former air field were converted into dwelling units in the fall of 1946 and were first inhabited by a handful of families of student-veterans from the University of Nebraska in November of 1946. Most of the data upon which the conclusions of this study were based were obtained during the summer of 1947. This report will describe the community life of Huskerville as it existed in that particular period of its development.
The problem of this thesis was stated in the form of a dual hypothesis. The first part of this hypothesis was concerned with the fact that Huskerville’s population was highly temporary. It was presumed from this fact that extreme mobility would prevent the development of a stable, complex organizational structure in Huskerville supported by active participation of the members of the community; i. e., that there would be a very small amount of civic interest and community spirit displayed by the people who were temporary residents in this community. In the second part of the working hypothesis of this thesis, the assumption was posited that the great homogeneity and wide field of common interests held by members of this community would result in harmonious social interaction marked by the presence of considerable cooperation and mutual aid and by the absence of serious friction.