In Their Words: Andres Arias

andres-arias.jpgName: Andres Arias

Department: Sociology

What Scholarship or Award did you receive? Race, Class, and Gender Senior Thesis award

What year are you? Senior

College: Oakes

Where do you call home? Uruaoan Michoacan, Mexico.

What is your field of focus? Labor and Immigration.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? It was very close to where I grew up and the city enchanted me.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? Apply to graduate school.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? Dancing Folklorico with Grupo Folklorico Los Mejicas

Research Description: My research focus on migrant street vendors in Los Angeles. I specifically analyze vendor vulnerabilities like the dehumanization and criminalization of vendors. I argue that despite the vulnerabilities street vendors encounter, the values they find in this occupation allows them to find a sense of dignity in the work they perform. I find that gender and generational differences in this occupation plays an important role on how vulnerabilities are experienced and how dignity emerges in street vendors.

I hope to continue this research in graduate school. I would like to turn this senior thesis into my dissertation and eventually a book manuscript. More importantly, I want my research to be action research where both the researcher and community benefits from the findings.