2021 Winner: Meanings of Magic: The Pickets and Undergraduate Participation

Project Information
Meanings of Magic: The Pickets and Undergraduate Participation
Social Sciences
ANTH195S Senior Thesis
This paper is an ethnography on the picket line that took place at the base of the University of California, Santa Cruz campus in the winter quarter of 2020. It is an anthropological account of the pickets and the conclusions from the ethnographic research that was conducted after them. While this picket line was centered around graduate-student-workers' demand for a cost of living adjustment, the month-long action allowed for a community consolidated by different actors to form in this space. This paper analyzes the community formation and space of the picket line. It also works to understand the language used to describe the pickets. In my research, many informants described the pickets as magic. This essay analyzes this description and depicts the meanings behind it. My claim is that a large contribution to these feelings described are undergraduate participation at the picket line. This paper focuses mainly on undergraduates and how they have been affected by the university, helped in shaping the space of the picket line, and were integral to the community and the feelings of magic that arose from this experience.
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  • Chiara Marie Fishburne (Porter)