Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jessica Chandras, Assistant Professor

Faculty Mentor Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


The small town of Waldo is disintegrating. Although part of the larger Alachua County, residents still must drive far into Gainesville to send their children to school, go to the bank, the doctors, and get their groceries and medicine. Even though Waldo residents pay taxes to this county, they remain without many of the necessities only available in Gainesville. On weekends, individuals from Gainesville and beyond make the drive to the Waldo Flea Market to buy cheap produce and fruit from local growers. This research utilizes both Wallerstein’s World-Systems theory and Stoler’s concept of ruination, which provide context for the current state of disrepair Waldo’s residents are operating and living within. Through ethnographic techniques this research explores communities experiencing dissolution and ruination, calling into question the nature of citizenship. If no infrastructural elements are made easily accessible or available to the residents of this space, as they are to those who reside in centrally defined areas, it further explicates those who live on the margins socially and physically.