Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Vernon D. Nalen


The social life in Yugoslavian-American settlement described in this thesis is based on data collected in “Oysterville”, a predominantly oyster-farming community located in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Additional information was collected from Yugoslavs living in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in Biloxi, Mississippi. The interval of the time covered by the study is roughly from 1820 to the present. Special emphasis is placed on the years from 1954 to 1961 when the basic survey data were collected. The basic problem of the study is to ascertain how the Yugoslavs in lower Louisiana have been able to retain their unique ethnic identity in this period of rapid acculturation and change. The study of Oysterville gains importance because of its theoretical design. It is postulated that this Yugoslavian community is a social system. Study of such a uniform group may yield information as to the types of interaction that go on in the community and how this interaction is patterned to give continuity and stability to the community as a social system. In summation, the Yugoslavs in Oysterville have been able to retain their ethnic identity and group cohesiveness through the manipulation of the elements that constitute the various social structures in the system, and the processes that articulate the elements. Despite changes, the Yugoslavs have been able to make the necessary adjustments to restore the equilibrium of the system.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sociology, Rural
Yugoslav Americans -- Louisiana -- Osyterville
Oysterville (La.)


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University