Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

W. Timothy Austin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Gossett, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jennifer Roberts, Ph.D.


Through partial participant observation, interviews, and archival analysis, this thesis examined the effects of the rodeo on the social milieu of the town. For more the fifty years, the Latigo Rodeo has been held annually in a town of 2,500 in upstate New York. The four day event attracts approximately 10,000 fans and 270 competitors. After the evening performances, the rodeo association hosts a party on the rodeo grounds. Many locals and visitors perceive of the rodeo and especially its "after-party" as a time to "let loose" and consume alcohol. The police, however, report few encounters or problems with the rodeo. A number of environmental, social, and organizational features appear to have helped mitigate and minimize deviant and law breaking behavior which did occur. Additionally, the findings revealed that a disjuncture existed between rodeo and non-rodeo perceptions of deviance as well as between these perceptions and reality.