Honors Program


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Windrum, Hudson. 2024. What Makes Community and How Does It Make Us? Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


This paper is about community, specifically who we are drawn to and how we sustain relationships. Further, I explore what we gain from community connections, how they affect us and our lives, and in turn how we affect those around us. The main question I sought to answer through this research is why we tend to form relationships with some people and not others, and what intrigued me was the patterns and evidence which supports our connections and tendencies to connect with certain people. I looked at multiple different research papers from experts who have studied different aspects of this phenomenon of community, and this formed the basis of my research; my paper is then divided into different sections discussing causes and effects of forming friendships as well as the factors that motivate to us to make these connections and influence us through their ubiquitous existence.

It is through community and friendships that our happiness is ultimately affected, and many interviews and research studies show that common factors such as shared interest and support are likely indicators of a lasting connection. Overall, it is those within our circles and even those within the circles of those in our circles that influence how we all interact with the world around us. In doing this research, I was also able to apply what I found to a short documentary I made of those in my own community. I interviewed five people with whom I have varying degrees of connection to analyze what enables our connection to exist. I asked each of them questions about themselves, their passions, and their goals in order to see where there was overlap or points of interest that could be seen in common with me and my research.