Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 3-18-2021


The Bluff River Trail (BRT) is a future 10+ mile trail along the San Juan River corridor in the 4-Corners region of the Southwestern United States. By asking, what is the land ethic of the Bluff Community? this qualitative study identifies behaviors and beliefs, or land ethics, between seven Bluff residents and the San Juan River corridor. A land ethic contributes to the social re/production of space; therefore, third space theory contextualizes intersecting and contradicting spatialities evidenced in data. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. I used a qualitative content analysis pulling from grounded theory to analyze semi-structured interview and questionnaire data. I used a template analysis to analyze focus group data. Through exploring local, place-based relationships, I describe how seven Bluff community members socially re/produce their land ethics. This research punctures the privileging of land ethics at a national scale.


spatiality, cosmographies, land ethic, 4-Corners, rural Utah, sense of place

Document Type


Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Tryphenia Peele-Eady

Second Committee Member

Dr. Carlos LopezLeiva

Third Committee Member

Dr. Laura Harjo