Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Advisor(s)

Rob Gardner & Jeff D. Peterson

Subject Categories

Community-Based Research | Social and Cultural Anthropology


The purpose of this study is to examine community response to crisis and the impact of intercultural interactions on the outcome of ethnic and religious group conflict. I seek to expand the traditional theoretical lens of forms of capital (Bourdieu, 1986) to include a new way of examining group interactions as they relate to intercultural capital. I use a case study focusing on the San Martín Catholic Mission in western Oregon and the ways this particular community responded to the crisis of the Catholic diocese threatening to sell their property in 2010. I gathered data from a year of ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observations in the setting and in-depth interviews with five individuals involved in the church and related community groups. I analyzed the data using the expanded lens of capital theory to examine the resource networks built through this event and their effect on the communities. Through my analysis, I identified the following themes: changing roles of immigrants and minorities in the United States, changing gender roles in community activism, and changing levels of activism after community crises are resolved. These themes indicate the importance of social factors in affecting community response to crisis. The findings of this case study have implications for how communities may need to adapt to the rising populations of Latino individuals and communities, and it provides insight into patterns of interaction between ethnic and religious communities in the future.