Adriana Rosas

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Bilinda Straight

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Third Advisor

Dr. Ann Miles

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Focusing on the Kalamazoo Homeless Action Network (KHAN), this thesis explores the dynamics of transformation in community organizing, and the crucial and often complicated role of anger in that process. Current Anthropological literature on the topic of resistance and poverty leaves unexamined the micropolitics of individuals' transformation as they become civically engaged as well as the laborious organizing techniques culminating in such events that lead to social change and individual empowerment. I will contribute to the literature on poverty and resistance by examining the 'behind-the-scenes' dimensions of direct action community organizing that influence individual and social transformation. Through this examination I demonstrate that social change does not happen through spontaneous epiphanies. Rather, there is a deliberate discipline through which leaders identify issues, build power, develop relationships, and identify their self-interest to create change. To examine the dynamics of transformation and the role of anger open ended interviews were conducted to collect life stories of KHAN leaders as well as the core Anthropological method of participant observation as described by Bernard (2002).

Included in

Anthropology Commons