Katherine A. MacTavish, PhD

Associate Professor
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Office: 541-737-9130

Waldo Hall

Waldo Hall 454

2250 SW Jefferson Way

2250 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Location: 

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At OSU
Affiliation(s): 
School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences
Human Development and Family Sciences
Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families
Research/Career Interests: 

My research centers on examining how small towns and rural places function for the children and families who call them home. Since 1997, I have been examining contextual factors that shape developmental pathways for children and youth in the distinctly lower-income rural context of a trailer park.

Spotlight

Singlewide: Chasing the American Dream in a Rural Trailer Park
 
In Singlewide, Sonya Salamon and Katherine MacTavish explore the role of the trailer park as a source of affordable housing. America’s trailer parks, most in rural places, shelter an estimated 12 million people, and the authors show how these parks serve as a private solution to a pressing public need. Singlewide considers the circumstances of families with school-age children in trailer parks serving whites in Illinois, Hispanics in New Mexico, and African Americans in North Carolina. By looking carefully at the daily lives of families who live side by side in rows of manufactured homes, Salamon and MacTavish draw conclusions about the importance of housing, community, and location in the families’ dreams of opportunities and success as signified by eventually owning land and a conventional home.
 
Working-poor rural families who engage with what Salamon and MacTavish call the "mobile home industrial complex" may become caught in an expensive trap starting with their purchase of a mobile home. A family that must site its trailer in a land-lease trailer park struggles to realize any of the anticipated benefits of homeownership. Seeking to break down stereotypes, Salamon and MacTavish reveal the important place that trailer parks hold within the United States national experience. In so doing, they attempt to integrate and normalize a way of life that many see as outside the mainstream, suggesting that families who live in trailer parks, rather than being "trailer trash," culturally resemble the parks’ neighbors who live in conventional homes.
 
Interview with BYUradio "The Truth about Trailer Parks"
Beyond OSU
Personal Interests: 

I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, one a kindergartner and the other a teen. They keep me busy, but I still try to sneak in a little running and time in the garden.

My Publications

2008

Journal Article

2007

Journal Article

2006

Book Chapter

S. Salamon and MacTavish, K., Quasi-homelessness among rural trailer park families, in International Perspectives on Rural Homelessness, London, U.K.: Routledge Press, 2006, pp. 45-87.

Journal Article

K. MacTavish and Salamon, S., Pathways of youth development in a rural trailer park, Family Relations, vol. 55, pp. 164-175, 2006.
K. MacTavish, Eley, M., and Salamon, S., Housing vulnerability among rural trailer park residents, Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, vol. 13, no. 1, 2006.
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