Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Winter 2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Auslander

Second Committee Member

Dr. Lene Pedersen

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jessica Hope Amason

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Jay Ball

Abstract

On a weekend evening in San Diego’s historic Eclipse district, several buskers capture the attention of passersby as they make their way through the bustling crowds to the nearest restaurant or nightclub. These buskers represent various subcultures within a gentrified entertainment district of urban renewal that caters to the middle class. This ethnographic study aims to examine the cultural politics of busker performances in a highly corporate, gentrified space. Are buskers able to maintain their independence from the market economy or are they unintentionally or willingly reinforcing this system? Through completion of an ethnographic study in the Eclipse district, this research analyzes the reactions, interactions, and dynamics that formulate the gentrified busker experience.

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