Title

Managing Risk on the Street: Forging Alliances and Building Trust

Presenter Information

Hillary Matson

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Alliances, Trust, Respect

Abstract

At night in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district, street performers, or buskers, can be found trying to capture the attention of passersby, as they make their way to the nearest restaurant or nightclub. These buskers work for tips on crowded sidewalks adjacent to corporate entertainment venues. This ethnographic study explores how buskers in the Gaslamp forge alliances with those they share the streets with, including night club promoters, bouncers, passersby, and cab drivers. These alliances are both actively sought out and inactively acquired. Through participant observation, direct observation, and interviews, I explored how gifting and creating networks of trust can help buskers manage risk and earn respect. How do buskers benefit from alliances formed within this corporate controlled environment, yet still maintain their independence from it?

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mark Auslander

Department/Program

Individual Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology & Museum Studies

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May 21st, 11:40 AM May 21st, 1:00 PM

Managing Risk on the Street: Forging Alliances and Building Trust

SURC 271

At night in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district, street performers, or buskers, can be found trying to capture the attention of passersby, as they make their way to the nearest restaurant or nightclub. These buskers work for tips on crowded sidewalks adjacent to corporate entertainment venues. This ethnographic study explores how buskers in the Gaslamp forge alliances with those they share the streets with, including night club promoters, bouncers, passersby, and cab drivers. These alliances are both actively sought out and inactively acquired. Through participant observation, direct observation, and interviews, I explored how gifting and creating networks of trust can help buskers manage risk and earn respect. How do buskers benefit from alliances formed within this corporate controlled environment, yet still maintain their independence from it?