Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Joseph Kantenbacher


Tiny home living is an alternative way of dwelling, compared to the average American home, and is increasing in popularity worldwide. Tiny homes have a smaller ecological footprint, are more affordable than traditional housing, and can be instrumental in addressing many social and environmental pressures facing the US today. This study examines how tiny homes are represented to the public by way of newspaper reporting and seeks to understand if there are geographic and temporal differences in reporting related to tiny homes. The study uses content analysis to identify differences in key factors between regional newspapers within America’s six geographic regions – classified as the Northeast, Southeast, Midcontinent, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and the Rocky Mountains – as well as an analysis of each region’s reporting patterns over time. Key analytic factors include length, content framing, themes, and co-themes within articles, images, framing of the images within the articles, and the database subject themes. A key finding from the study centers on how content, regionally and nationally, has changed between 1992 and 2021. These differences can give an insight into the formation of the public’s perception of tiny homes. Further, specific emerging themes can be utilized to examine a range of connections between tiny homes and the three main sustainability sectors. Understanding public, regional communication surrounding tiny homes will help bridge the gap between environmental, economic, and social understandings of tiny homes from a public knowledge lens, increasing the understanding of public views, sustainability trends, and the perceived connection that tiny homes have to other sustainability topics.

Subject Categories

Urban Studies and Planning


Tiny home

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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