Thesis

Occupy the non-profit industrial complex: reflections from the frontlines of social justice movements

This project attempts to explore and depict a deeper understanding of the contemporary social justice landscape from my personal autoethnographical experiences as an activist in the ostensibly dualistic worlds of 501(c)(3) nonprofit immigrant rights organization and a radical social change movement based in Occupy Los Angeles. This paper will compare and contrast the trajectories, goals, boundaries and roles implanted within these spaces, as I attempt to forge a candid construction of the past, present and future landscape of the social justice movement in this country. The autoethnographical narratives are complemented by social movement theories and literature review of the historical writings and experiences of various activists. Through combining the methodology of autoethnography and a theoretically oriented literature review on the non-profit industrial complex, I wish to illuminate on the existing dilemmas faced by social justice activists while inculcating a sense of hope for the future prospects of social justice movements.

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