American Studies

Elsie Wiley - Food, Power, and Policy in the U.S.

Having already established a decades’ long family business in the property management and maintenance field in North Oakland, California, and after completing the research for her capstone senior thesis project, Elsie plans to pursue a Master’s in demography where she can continue to study the intersections of human population and social justice in Oakland.

Area of Concentration Courses

Legal Studies 184 - Sociology of Law
Education 198 - Directed Group Study
Public Policy 101 - Introduction to Public Policy Analysis
Sociology 169F - Cultural Perspectives of Food
UGBA 192T - Corporate Social Responsibility


Homelessness in Oakland, California, 2015 to Early 2019

After observing a trend in which many formerly middle-class and long-term Black residents of Oakland lost their homes and remained unsheltered, Elsie wanted to know what accounted for the change and to understand the programs and policies that sought to address the challenge of homelessness in Oakland and across the U.S. Using ethnographic methods, case studies, and the close reading of government documents and news coverage of the crisis in homelessness in Oakland, Elsie’s senior thesis offers a critique of neoliberal economic policies and how they shape place and ideas of home and being housed. Beginning from the premise that all citizens have the right to shelter, Elsie’s thesis argues for socialized housing and universal basic income.

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