Joanna Cardenas

South Central Los Angeles has a long history of male-dominant gang affiliations, categorizing the city of Los Angeles as the gang capital of the nation. This led to excessive surveillance and sky-rocketing rates of male incarceration since the 1980s, making L.A. men jails the face of mass incarceration. Research is lacking, however, around the social and cultural understandings of Black and Brown women in South Centrals carceral landscape. Joanna, therefore, will analyze the way these social and cultural understandings ultimately affect the way South Central women navigate structures of state surveillance in their everyday life. By carrying out qualitative interviews with women in her community, Joanna’s work aims to highlight the way intersectionality across class and gender socially impact the experiences of women of color in South Central LA.

Do Khym

This research aims to examine the reasons why the Norris Colony in Americana, Brazil was the only surviving post-bellum Confederate exile colony, while all other Confederate colonies around the world failed. Through research in the archives of the city of Americana, especially its Immigration Museum, Do expects to find that small scale agriculture where settlers put in their own labor instead of slave labor, ease of transport, new technology in the form of steel plows, and the Confederados’ superior agricultural skills, were instrumental in securing the survival of the colony. Do’s research topic for his Geography senior honors thesis, this research will be significant in that even though previous studies have described the Norris Colony, they did not address specific reasons why it was the only colony to survive.

Justin Dela Cruz

Kamayan, which in Tagalog means by hand, is the traditional, communal style of eating Filipino food without plates or utensils. Tusok-tusok, which translates into poke poke, are heavily-fried, Filipino street foods, usually cut into bite-sized pieces and eaten off wooden skewers and dipped in sweet and sour sauces. For Filipino immigrants, these traditional eating practices serve as sites of cultural nostalgia and recollections of a distant homeland. Utilizing ethnographies and interviews to study several Bay Area Filipino restaurants, Justin’s project explores the preservation of Filipino cultural cuisine practices through the styles of kamayan and tusok-tusok. His project invokes new meanings about Filipino public culture, elevating how cuisine is an invaluable locus which engenders new modes of thinking about everyday consumption.

Saida Cornejo

Saida’s research explores how some undocumented migrants generate their income through entrepreneurship. Undocumented entrepreneurs are part of high barrier and low barrier industries, but their undocumented status leaves them vulnerable to policing and wage theft. Their vulnerability as migrants places them outside the traditional image of who an American entrepreneur represents which presents a set of challenges that otherwise goes unnoticed. Through qualitative interviews, Saida aims to reveal these challenges by examining how being viewed as illegal by law and society denies certain rights, privileges, and access to resources that foster a successful business. It is important to create more awareness about the limitations undocumented entrepreneurs face to inform policy decisions that benefit and support undocumented entrepreneurs.

Michael Papias

In 2017, more than 690,000 children spent time in foster care, and on any given day in the US, more than 443,000 children are in foster care. One-third of all foster youth are children of color, with 93,507 children identifying as Hispanic/Latinx. People identifying as Latinx are the fastest growing group in the child welfare system. Michael will be interviewing Latinx foster youth from across California, focusing on the cultural and family identities of each participant. Familia/family, culture, and ethnic identity are cornerstones of the Latinx community, so how do Latinx foster youth navigate these spaces? The projects goal is disruption: disrupting extractive research practices, disrupting Black/white binaries, disrupting foster youth research conducted by non-foster youth researchers, and emphasizing Latinx foster youth voices.

Esperanza Padilla

Autism is typically understood as a disorder rather than an identity. However, the emergence of the autism self-advocacy movement and virtual spaces suggests that autism is more than a diagnosis for many individuals. Esperanza Padilla’s research seeks to delve beyond the medical models interpretation of autism to find out how autistic individuals develop their sense of self. Padilla’s research will utilize both survey data and in-depth interviews to gather information about autistic adults life experiences. She will then analyze her findings using the sociological framework of Symbolic Interactionism by Herbert Mead. The insight of this research will contribute to our understanding of how the identities of autistic adults and children may be supported over their lifetime, and how having an affirming identity may impact them in school and the workplace. Photo Caption: Esperanza displays two books that have inspired her and her project: From (left to right): All The Weight […]

Calvin Nguyen

The San Francisco cityscape is changing rapidly, with large influxes of residents, buildings, and communities. This change must be understood with more than soaring rents or other quantified data; it’s evident between Salesforce Transit Center and Embarcadero, banners advertising the East Cut and Yerba Buena, the trash that’s picked up and the trash left behind. Increasingly, San Franciscos neighborhoods have become spectacularly stratified stages of narrative-making, much like Disney’s lands distinct experiential worlds creating a storied landscape for themselves and the city. Through interviews, theoretical research, and fieldwork at these neighborhoods, Calvin hopes to identify the causes, meanings, and effects of the new architectural and urban landscape of San Francisco, to understand what existing in this city means or more precisely, how this city tells us to exist.

Emma Yataco

Though the term religion is frequently used, it remains difficult to define. As a result, defining religious conversion or developing a unified theory of conversion has not yet been achieved. Emma’s research will explore religion and conversion from the perspective of the religious organizations themselves. She will examine the doctrine and organizational structure of both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Identifying similarities and differences will help establish a foundation for understanding how religious participation/disaffiliation is affected by the religious environment and teachings as well as how the religious environment affects individuals in three major areas: familial, social, and psychological. Data will be gathered through archival research, as well as virtual ethnographic observations via online religious forums, surveys, and in-depth interviews.

Duncan Wanless

Today, the town of Yanga, Veracruz, Mexico identifies itself as the First Free Town in the Americas because of its origins in the first successful slave revolt in the Americas. Yanga is an anomaly in Mexican culture because it has actively embraced and even mythologized the role of Africans in Mexico’s past. Duncan’s history honors thesis will combine archival research with oral histories to analyze the development of the cultural institutions through which residents of Yanga came to commemorate this history during the 20th century. By putting a local history of celebration in conversation with a national history of erasure, this project aims to show how the descendants of African slaves in a specific community with a unique past have claimed visibility for themselves and their history.