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- Item"A Dialogue of Life": Fostering Interfaith Coexistence in Hyderabad, India(2015) Leter, Deborah; Ngwane, ZolaniThis thesis is an ethnographic study of local civil society organizations dedicated to fostering interfaith coexistence and communal harmony amongst Hindu and Muslim communities in Hyderabad, India. My fieldwork for this project consisted of observing programs and conducting interviews with NGO staff members and program participants. By balancing observations from this fieldwork with theoretical knowledge, this thesis analyzes the beliefs motivating NGOs, the kinds of programs they carry out, and the ways in which they respond to the state’s failure to foster interfaith unity by providing alternative civic spaces for people to come together. Motivated by the idea that “economic development programs” have a greater transformative effect on interreligious relations within polarized communities than dialogue-based interfaith work, many of the NGOs I visited see communal peace as a product of harmonious social interactions between individuals. I situate this thesis within the anthropological subfield known as the “anthropology of peace,” and draw primarily from anthropology, peace studies and political science literature to place my fieldwork within a larger discussion of civil society, communal violence, and nationalism. Moreover, I argue that the anthropological study of positive peace—the institutions, structures and attitudes that help build a peaceful society—can meaningfully contribute to strengthening existing peacebuilding efforts.
- ItemA Question of Life, A Sentence of Death : Analysis of the Empowerment Discourse for HIV/AIDS in Guatemala City(2006) Leitner-Laserna, Liliana; Porter, Judith; Ngwane, ZolaniIn this thesis, I examine the ways in which the term “empowerment” (empoderamiento) is conceptualized and utilized by various actors in the HIV/AIDS community in Guatemala City. My desire to explore this theme stems from the participant-observation I conducted in a Médecins Sans Frontiéres HIV/AIDS clinic from March-August 2004. In my thesis I analyze the various discourses emerging around this word, its evolution/development in different spheres and people, and its deployment and appropriation by various individuals. Utilizing interview data from fieldwork conducted in December 2005, I use two analytical methodologies to investigate the discourses that healthcare providers and patients present regarding the notion of “empowerment.” The first analysis uses a coding model both to characterize the nature of the discourses, uncovering trends between patients and providers, and to compare these discourses to the First World’s articulation of the word empowerment (using World Bank’s definition). The second analysis utilizes a case study of a patient/ provider to explore the complexities of adopting a First World discourse. Here I demonstrate that attempts to “localize” the concept of empowerment is limited to translating the word linguistically and to using local people to promote its use. I argue that attempts to promote First World discourses indeed fail to instill a true local empowerment because the underlying ideological presuppositions in the term “empowerment” leaves no room for local understandings. Such a pattern proves to be unsustainable and ineffective to promote true grassroots empowerment. Hence in this thesis I propose that the World Bank changes its current day definition of empowerment in order to frame development programs directly from local people’s epistemology.
- ItemA Testament to Resistance and Radical Care: Nonprofit Sanctuaries for Migrants and Refugees(2018) Kennedy, Callie; Saleh, ZainabHistorically and especially in the past year under the Trump administration, the United States government has advanced anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies that marginalize, fracture, and harm migrant communities. This project explores the responses of two multi-service provider organizations to state-initiated structural violence against immigrants, which primarily take the form of offering services and care designed to uplift and meet the needs of immigrants whose access to such services is unjustly restricted. I conducted fieldwork at Caminar Juntos’ after-school program as a weekly tutor over the course of two semesters, as well as at Santuario during a week that I spent volunteering with the organization. Through participant observation, interviews, and ethnographic readings of the media these organizations put forth, I explore how these NGOs disrupt the inferior citizenship that brown and black migrants in this country are relegated to, which is based on a hegemonic framing of citizenship that is heavily racialized and classed. I argue that Caminar Juntos and Santuario resist the United States’ anti-immigrant stance by practicing holistic health care, upholding a global citizenship rooted in migrant justice, and cultivating sanctuary from the climate of violence that migrants in this country are subjected to.
- ItemA Transformative Escape: Stories of Black Womanhood Negotiated in the Dance Studio(2017) Spencer, Angelique M.; Saleh, ZainabFor my thesis, I aimed at using stories collected in interviews with four Black American women who have had experience in ballet and maintain their commitment to ballet at varying degrees in nonprofessional and professional aspects. I juxtaposed these stories against a backdrop of ballet as being an historically white, Eurocentric, traditional dance that has emulated certain ideals that are rarely attainable and tends to reproduce methods of exclusion that larger institutions have practiced in dividing people and resources based on race and gender. The goal here was to see how the four women experienced ballet, how it is a part of their identities, and why they continue their commitment to it at varying extents despite the exclusionary practices that are commonly found in elite ballet dance schools.
- ItemA Truth with Points of View(2001) Leuschke, KateMy fieldwork in Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas, Mexico forms the base of this text which focuses on the production of ethnographic life histories. Several excerpts from my fieldnotes are included and analyzed through traditional anthropological and literature lenses. I look at the way life histories are related to the Crisis of Representation in anthropology, to linguistics, feminism, and autoethnography. Using my own work and the published life histories of Oscar Lewis, R.M. Keesing, Vincent Crapanzano, Elisabeth Burgos-Deray, and Ruth Behar, I claim that the model of a reader-author contract from literature studies can illuminate the processes involved in the production of an ethnographic life history. This contract must be extended to take into account the agency of the subject of the life history. I examine various aspects of the contract itself, manipulations of both the form and the content of a text which represents the encounter between the anthropologist and the subject. I claim that the primary way readers are able to engage with a text is through a sense of empathy and identification with one of the "characters." This identification can allow the reader to feel that they are part of an unmediated dialogue with the subject because they inhabit the character of the anthropologist. I call attention to the problems with this assumption and the ambiguous nature of identification as a tool of interpretation. Finally, I argue that identification and therefore other basic tenets of the reader-author-subject contract must be renegotiated in order to allow conversation to occur on equal terms between subject, anthropologist and reader of life histories.
- ItemAddressing Health Inequities Through Structural Competency(2022) Graham, Darius; Moses, JoshuaCultural competence refers to the ability to identify cross-cultural expressions of illness and health, and to thus counteract the marginalization of patients by race, ethnicity, social class, religion, sexual orientation, or other markers of difference. To gain cultural competency, clinical professionals learn approaches to communication and treatment that take into account instances of stigma. Cultural competence was first used by Terry L. Cross and his colleagues in 1989, and is administered by healthcare professionals in a way that stereotypes understanding of the "cultures'' of patients and cultural competency tends to be used as a way for clinicians to create clinical narratives that prioritize biomedical reasoning. Despite the application of cultural competency, it is widely known that it lacks a component to address healthcare inequities in communities of color. In my thesis, I will discuss the 'culture' that exists within the American medical system, how cultural competency is administered by healthcare professionals, the shortcomings of cultural competency, and how incorporation of structural competency into the medical system can benefit patients from marginalized groups.
- ItemAddressing Maternal Health in 21st Century America: An Exploration of Risk, Motherhood, and Reclamation(2020) Thomas, Barbara Denise; Kelly, PatriciaAfrican Americans' experiences of racial and gender-related stress and discrimination negatively impact their behaviours and emotions related to their health care during pregnancy 6 that is deeply rooted in the United States history of slavery and marginalization of Black women. This has resulted in higher risks for negative birth outcomes and difficulties in early motherhood that expecting mothers of other races in the U.S. do not have to face. In response to these racial disparities in maternal healthcare, black maternal health advocates and leaders have collectively taken a stand against the racial violence placed against their communities by encouraging African American women to reclaim their bodies and rights to African ancestral birth practices and reform their communities of black reproductive health workers.
- ItemAffinity Groups: Commonality in Diversity(2006) Shookhoff, Alexandra; Gillette, MarisOver the past 40 years, student ethnic organizations have become widespread at institutions of higher learning, yet very little anthropological literature has examined ethnic identity in an educational context. In this work, I investigate the maintenance of cohesion within these organizations. Their very existence seems to assume a certain amount of commonality among members, yet, in reality, students come from exceptionally diverse backgrounds and experiences. I attempt to examine how groups negotiate their differences in order to create a common identity. Student ethnic organizations (or Affinity Groups as they are called at Haverford College, the locus for my fieldwork) first came into existence in the early ’60s and late ’70s. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, students created Affinity Groups as a political weapon to bring equality to their colleges and universities. Over time, these organizations have expanded their roles to encompass one or more of four purposes: one, refuge from the mainstream community; two, cultural emissary; three, provision of academic aid; four, source of social activism. I conducted my fieldwork at Haverford College, where I joined three Affinity Groups: Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS), Asian Student Association (ASA), and Black Students League (BSL). I attended meetings and activities sponsored by the groups and conducted interviews with club members as well as faculty and administration. Several theoretical approaches to ethnicity influenced my analysis of these groups. Barth’s theory of boundary maintenance, referred to as circumstantialist, helped frame how groups distinguish themselves from the rest of the college community. Primordialist theory, which claims an intrinsic attachment among members of the same ethnic group, and instrumentalist theory, which posits that ethnic groups are formed out of utility to create effective political weapons, both aided my understanding of how members found commonality within their groups. I found that each Affinity Group took a different approach to forming a shared ethnic identity. This suggests that one theory of ethnicity is not sufficient for all circumstances. Instead, we must develop an approach that considers the social, political, and historical contexts of each ethnic group.
- ItemAgainst Virtuosity: A Political Framework for Music Education as Care, Possibility, and Curiosity(2022) Penrice, Maria; Eisenberg-Guyot, NadjaThis thesis pays close attention to the insights provided by affective responses and emotional states to interrogate the overinvestment in classical music education in the United States. Through autoethnographic reflection and conversations with a small group of interview participants, I trace how identifying emotional disconnects in music education settings is a crucial source of information for disrupting severely imbalanced power dynamics and analyzing the alliance between white supremacy and heteropatriarchal powers. In synthesizing my personal reflection and interviewees' insights alongside the work of a diverse set of theorists, I hope to articulate a vision of music education that is based on critical wellness, genuine emotional connection and caring relationships, curiosity, and the building of political solidarity. Focusing on questions of race, power, and capitalism in my research process, I was led to artists, movements, and traditions that have long enacted a radical vision of music education. Throughout the paper, I undertake a process-focused methodology that seeks to leave the reader with a set of ongoing, unanswered inquiries that I will continue to grapple with far into the future.
- ItemAgency, Vulnerability and Citizenship of Semiautonomous Youth in Nicaragua: Voices of Former Street Children(2012) El-Youssef, Nour Amal; Uygun, Banu NilgunThis investigation draws on two summers of fieldwork with La Asociación Los Quinchos, a Nicaraguan non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of street children. The aim of this paper is to elucidate the various ways in which Nicaraguan history and political economy have both shaped and strained the family, and contributed to the rising number of children living in the streets. This historical trajectory marks shifting ideologies of childhood situated during times of dictatorial rule, civil war and socialist reform, and finally neoliberal political economy. The second focus of this paper is the liminal position street children occupy between sites of agency and self-sufficiency on the one hand and extreme social vulnerability on the other. While recent developments in child-centered anthropology have called upon researchers, states and social institutions to see children as competent social actors and not just cultural beings in-the-making, this paper seeks to take a step back from this criticism and recall the various ways in which youth continue to inhabit deeply troubling power imbalances predicated on age. Insofar as street children represent a marginal population in Nicaragua, how do their testimonies point to the continued experience of vulnerability? In place of a strict dichotomy between agency and vulnerability, this paper calls for a more nuanced, ambivalent and porous view of youth agency/vulnerability. The argument here is that experiences of vulnerability do not preclude the fact that children are still competent social actors in their own right.
- ItemAiding the Epidemic: The effects of PrEP, PEP, and TasP on the Historical Stigmatization of HIV and AIDS(2017) Orta Portillo, Gilbert; Saleh, Zainab; Roebuck, ChristopherSince their formal recognition in the 1980’s, both HIV and AIDS have had a global impact on many aspects of life. The unknown nature of HIV led to a social and cultural marginalization of individuals with either condition that was built upon fear and anxiety. Biologically, two fronts were presented: first, both challenged our confidence and reliance on antibiotics as HIV and AIDS, cannot be currently cured with them, creating a technological race to be able to eliminate both; the other front is the opposite, both set a standard in comparing other diseases or infections to the grand scale of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Fortunately, now in 2017, medical advancements have been made in treating and prolonging the lives of people living with either HIV or AIDS and people who may be potentially exposed to HIV. New antiretroviral medications have been developed to help prevent exposure and may even eliminate the virus after exposure to HIV. While the HIV and AIDS epidemic may not be as biologically lethal as it once was, its social ramifications remain in society, and now the question that remains is will new antiretroviral medication help change and replace society’s past and present stigmatization of affected individuals with one of empathy and understanding? Through a historical analysis of social and cultural stigma around HIV and AIDS within the LGBT community, this thesis will observe whether there has been a shift in how stigma is perceived with the introduction of new antiretroviral medications, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and Treatment as Prevention (TasP). While it will acknowledge both homosexual and heterosexual means of transmission, this thesis will specifically focus on how stigma has affected the LGBT community. The foundation of this thesis will focus on literature and media, within the United States of America, during the 1980’s, which is the time that HIV and AIDS came to be recognized and feared. To trace this timeline, modern representations from the 2000’s and 2010’s will be used to present a shift in the understanding of the nature of both HIV and AIDS. The modern forms of representation will include media, personal interviews and films. Through this thesis, by no means, shape or form, is it a critique on individuals living with HIV or AIDS. This thesis does also not attempt to present a definite answer as to how to end the stigma towards individuals living with either HIV or AIDS, but it aims to allow the reader to know how society and culture gave influenced one’s opinion. This is key as it highlights how not much is done for the resilience towards stigma, even though medicine attempts to highlight achievements primarily through a biological perspective. I chose to undergo this because I believe that there has been a primary focus on the biological effect of both HIV and AIDS, which is by no means a negative factor; however, I wish to bring awareness that I believe have changed from when HIV and AIDS first appeared. I have also chosen to focus on this topic, as I believe, it is still a taboo subject even with the advancements that have been made. In bringing awareness to this topic, it is my goal that any reader may learn to recognize the impact that HIV and AIDS have had on interpreting how medicine is perceived and how people may be reduced to a body that is simply characterized by its biological attributes. In reminding others about the history of HIV and AIDS and tracing how each have been perceived, which is by no means an easy task, and I do hope this work is built upon in future generations, each respective, yet intertwined history emphasizes how medicine and society are interdisciplinary factors that can help change the biomedical model.
- ItemAll That We Are We Carry With Us: Stories and Possibilities of Southeast Asian Organizing(2022) Kaunang, Erica; Hong, EmilyThis project emerged from many questions and emotions I've grappled with through my lived experiences, but are particularly relevant today. As more anti-Asian violence has garnered the attention of people worldwide, it is important now more than ever to explore the complexities of the Asian communities in the U.S. and how we've endured multiple layers of violence. Current discourses surrounding Asian communities emphasize the importance of stopping hate– but what does hate mean? Some even touch upon the importance of stopping Asian violence, but the reality is that these interpersonal acts of violence are rooted in historical patterns of white supremacy, gender violence, and capitalism. And like much of Asian discourses in the US, the experiences and histories of Southeast Asians are homogenized, if not outright erased. In this zine, I collect stories and oral histories from various leaders, organizers, and storytellers from the Southeast Asian diaspora and diving into the local histories and contexts of Philadelphia and New York. While the term Southeast Asian encompasses many different countries and ethnic groups, the stories in this zine come from community members of Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Lao descent. As an Indonesian born and raised in Queens, of Batak and Manadonese descent, many of my reflections are rooted from this particular perspective. How can we trace our various Southeast Asian communities' histories to better understand our needs and potential for organizing? How can we look at Queens, NY and Philadelphia as sites of tensions and transformation for Southeast Asians? How do we process, heal, and organize around the different forms of violence Southeast Asians face in the age of Covid-19? We cannot work through these greater structures of violence without recognizing how these structures manifest in particular ways depending on our local contexts and spaces. We must start with our homes, the people around us, and the spaces we move through everyday in order to build a better future for ourselves.
- ItemAlongside Other Harmonies: Art as a Means of Growth, Advocacy, and Justice for Philadelphia Youth(2023) Muno, Carolena; D'arcy, MichaelViolence has a profound but generally well-understood impact on bodies and communities. Less understood, however, are ways in which these lasting impacts and their systemic roots can be addressed. This thesis attends to this discrepancy through an examination of the role that collaborative community arts programs play in disrupting cycles of interpersonal and structural violence. This examination is performed through an analysis of ethnographic research which includes both participant-observation within and interviews with students, staff, and community partners of a Philadelphia musical arts program. This arts program, which I call Ridge Avenue Music Project, serves incarcerated and otherwise system-entrenched youth. This analysis reveals that entrainment (modulation to external circumstances) to program values of trust, openness, safety, and student autonomy can disrupt the restricted habitus of these youth on an individual and community level. I characterize this habitus as “Jupiter habitus”, which describes the lived embodiment of violence endured by youth held within modern day systems that emphasize policing and surveillance whilst enacting community disinvestment. The disruption of Jupiter habitus and the facilitation of social justice advocacy within musical training allowed youth to create affective and systemic alterations oriented towards the building of a more just collective reality.
- Item“Aquí está mi corazón” Learning Race and Performing Citizenship: Narratives of Undocumented Mothers and a Non-Profit Organization(2017) Coren, Freda; Saleh, ZainabThis last year has been filled with nativist and anti-immigrant sentiments that place immigrants, especially undocumented, non-white immigrants, in diametric opposition to the white, male, wealthy American citizen. This project explores the ways in which an East Coast city’s undocumented Mexican community performs citizenship and seeks belonging as racialized, “illegal” subjects. Furthermore, I investigate the ways in which a health and education non-profit fits into a larger discourse about biopower, control, citizenship, and belonging. Over the course of ten months, I conducted fieldwork at the summer camp and after-school program run by the non-profit Caminos de Fortaleza, which supports this largely undocumented Mexican and Latino population. Using Michel Foucault’s theory of biopower and state control, I demonstrate how Caminos de Fortaleza works within and outside of these power structures in order to shape the lives of those people it serves. In addition to months of observational fieldwork as a tutor with Caminos de Fortaleza, I also interviewed four undocumented mothers who utilize its services in order to explore the emotional and personal facet of biopolitical projects. Through these interviews, this project demonstrates the ways in which immigrants learn how to be American and how to be citizens. I pay particular attention to the ways in which racial logics and structures have shaped these women’s experiences in both Mexico and the United States, and the pervasive ways in which race is linked to citizenship and belonging in the United States. Ultimately, their experiences show how various actors and stakeholders deftly maneuver the malleable and permeable category of citizenship.
- ItemBeauty in Strength: Discourse and Determinants of Body Image among Female Athletes at Haverford College(2018) Logan, Kendall; West, AnnaBody image, or the mental perception of one’s own body, is shaped by external influences including, but not limited to: media, family and peer pressure, and cultural norms. The interactions between these influences constitute a social framework in which certain body types are deemed more acceptable, valuable, and beautiful than others. Within this framework, athletic bodies are often held up as a standard and an aspiration, yet those with conventionally “athletic” bodies often struggle to find pride in their figures, despite this supposed glorification. This thesis explores how female college athletes are caught between the physical demands of their sports, which require them to have muscular bodies, and traditional notions of femininity and gender norms, which insist that females be noticeably thin, often to an unhealthy extreme. Through interviews with nine female athletes at Haverford College, this thesis examines factors that shape Haverford College female athletes' body image, considers aspects of their experiences that may be unique to Haverford, and places their thoughts and experiences in a broader national discourse on body image.
- ItemBeyond the Body: A Disruption of Mainstream Conceptions of Eating Disorders(2020) Guild, Kaitlyn; Ngwane, ZolaniMainstream conceptions of eating disorders tend to be centered around images of the emaciated body, highlighting and bringing attention to the physical manifestations of a single narrative and experience of the mental illness. The reproduction of an understanding of eating disorders as solely pertaining to the physical implications of this mental illness can have on the body erases the complex nature of eating disorders, namely the ways they encompass the interconnectivity of the mind and body. Through bringing personal journal entries and poems I wrote during my time in treatment for my eating disorder into conversation with narratives and experiences shared in a public online forum for folks with eating disorders, this thesis works to shed light on the ways they are mechanized and function to cope with, distract from, and make sense of lived experiences.
- ItemBeyond the Point: Dislocation, Marginality, and Survival Among City-Dwelling and Long-Term Drug Users(2011) Gilroy, Laura; Hart, Laurie KainThis paper is a cross-cultural and socio-historical comment on the experience of long-term drug addiction, and the ways in which social agents and social forces shape that experience. It is based on a 6+ month ethnography based in two harm reduction community centers located in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Primarily, it is a discussion of the concept of psychosocial and physical dislocation, as manifested within the context of drug use and addiction in an urban, "ghetto" space. It is also a reflection on dislocation as it relates to municipal efforts addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic within the drug user community. I additionally deconstruct the individual and more universal ways that abandonment and acknowledgment of drug addiction acts within the larger scope of dislocation to enforce the notions of symbolic and structural violence within physical and ideological zones of abandonment. Finally, I ask whether or not there is a physical space or a place in contemporary society for long-term drug addicts, and how other global phenomena can inform this problem.
- ItemBoners and twats : sexual discourse and political pedagogy in a sex education classroom(2004) Marshall, Tatiana; Gillette, MarisMichel Foucault's work The History of Sexuality deconstructs discourse on sexuality and how this discourse affects constructions of sexuality. Based on my own fieldwork in an all male sex education classroom, I examine one teacher's different teaching methods through the framework of sex education researcher Sue Lees' three political stances of teaching sex education: conservative, liberal, and feminist. I also examine the teacher's use of media and sports in the classroom, connecting his lesson plans to John Dewey's educational philosophy, which focuses on the primacy of the students' classroom experience. With this analysis and Foucault's direction, I examine how sexuality is created in the classroom through educator's pedagogical methods. Included is a history of sex education in the United States and an annotated bibliography.
- ItemBuilding a Community of Comfort: An Ethnographic Investigation of One Nonprofit's Engagement with Private Individual Donors(2020) Klose, Lina; Moses, JoshuaWhen thinking about the various components of a nonprofit, it is likely that their direct service programs or advocacy programs will be the first components an individual imagines. However, there is another component responsible for supporting these various programs: the development office. Development offices exist to support the programs that nonprofits manage through fundraising. The funds that they raise are usually split into two categories: public and private funds. While public funds, like federal grants, are highly restricted in what they can be used for, private funds, like foundation grants and money donated by individual donors, are considered to be unrestricted in their use. This thesis will explore whether private funding from individual donors is truly unrestricted in the context of the Development Office of Welcome Home, a nonprofit in Washington, DC focused on provided supportive housing services for people experiencing homelessness. I will argue that although the Welcome Home Development Office staff considers donations from individual donors to be unrestricted funds, there are actually a number of pre-restrictions that they must meet to draw in new donors and maintain relationships with current donors. Then, I will explore how these pre-restrictions allow individual funders to influence the work that the staff at Welcome Home engage in by causing them to build relationships with donors based in a feeling of comfort. Finally, I will discuss how their focus on their donors' comfort implicates the Development Office in upholding structures based in power, like the charity model, while also perpetuating the homogeneity of their donor community.
- ItemBullet on the Charts: Beef, the Media Industry and Rap Music in America(2005) Sweet, Eli"What's beef?" This question, posed by rap legend Biggie Smalls shortly before his death in 1997, is more relevant today than ever--not only within the esoteric discourse of the hip hop community, but also, increasingly, within the American economy and cultural landscape. The short answer is simple--beef is a type of conflict between rappers, most clearly manifested in songs degrading one another. In actuality however, beef is something much more subtle and complex. Beef is a discourse between people and composed of an assemblage of texts--texts that are often mistaken for the beef itself. Beef is a plastic concept; its definition and significance have evolved with the changing role of the media industry in hip-hop music, and with the increasing use of the term beef to describe various scenarios. Within the hip hop community there are many different opinions about beef, often expressed through the discourse of beef itself. The experience of beef through a hip hop text is subjective and often detached from the structural context. My technique is to examine the various texts that make up beefs--songs, articles, interviews, and fan commentary, to find how the discourse connects various agents. My informants are rappers, journalists, DJ's, and hip hop fans, experts on beef. Yet they experience beef in contradictory ways. I would like to understand the role that each of these actors play in the discourse, how they experience beef from each perspective, and finally, how their participation signifies their awareness of their position within the discourse. I predominantly look at the way that rappers signify themselves with respect to beef, its history and values, as well as the material relations in which the discourse is embedded. This is complicated by the politics of the music industry and the history of hip hop music in America.