Ethnography of the University / Ethnography of the University: Focus on Politics 2018 / Undergraduate Ethnography

Student bio: Amanda Harvey-Sanchez (Ethnography of the University 2018: Focus on Politics)

I’m a Master’s student in Sociocultural Anthropology, with a Collaborative Specialization in South Asian Studies. I completed my Honours B.A. with High Distinction in Sociocultural Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Equity Studies, also at U of T. My M.A. research explores the intersections of caste, indigeneity, and social mobility in Kerala, India. I’m also interested more broadly in questions of education, social movements, and practice theory.

My project for the class, entitled “Practices of Politics at an Elite Graduate College: From ‘I’m gonna be petty’ to ‘I don’t care no more’” examines subtle modes of resistance to whiteness at Massey College. I focus on what I call “petty politics”, a form of politics where critique is coded, subversion is subdued, and positioning within broader fields of power is acknowledged but the field itself is left as is. My paper explores how politics centered around and against whiteness transpires in its incipient stage, the “practices of politics” at this scale, and barriers to the full articulation of unease and its transformation into more overt forms of politics.

Blog posts by Amanda:

Spanish at Massey College: One Language, Two Worlds

How Participant is Participant Observation? On Wearing My “Activist Hat” and My “Ethnographer Hat”

Ethnography as Obsession: On Immersion and Separation in Fieldwork and Writing

Where Interpretation Ends and History Begins: Questions of Scale and Scope in Anthropological Analysis


Being Native to the Field: A Double-Edged Sword

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