A Day in the Life: An Ethnography




Mumbach, Ali

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The aim of this research is to shed light on the experience of those living in public housing, specifically elderly and people with disabilities. Public housing offers a stable and viable option for low-income individuals and families to live. The effects of this living situation deserve exploration and study because of the vulnerability of this population. I used an ethnographic approach to study this group in order to generate a substantial and detailed record of the day-to-day experiences within this community and my reflections of those experiences. In addition to ethnography, I used an arts-based research approach to illustrate my findings via a fictional short story. The fictional narrative conveys the three themes discovered through my research: the importance of relationships to the residents, experiencing isolation, and despite feeling loneliness, finding pockets of community. Short stories provide an opportunity for human connection between the reader and the population being studied in a way that traditional methods do not. It is of the utmost importance that public housing authorities and other social services of the like prioritize community-building events and activities to enhance the quality of life achievable for the residents/clients.



public housing, low-income, fictional short stories, ethnography, arts-based research, Honors College


Mumbach, A. (2019). A day in the life: An ethnography (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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