Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jennifer Patico

Second Advisor

Faidra Papavasiliou

Third Advisor

Emanuela Guano


The purpose of this research is to explore the relationships among the material conditions, economic and life circumstances, and identities of urban artists in Atlanta. This ethnography uses interview data and participant observation to investigate how Atlanta’s neoliberal economy shapes the lives and work of urban artists, many of whom make their livings in the service industry. Further, this study explores how the city of Atlanta presents itself and attempts to create a specific image, or an imaginary of city life, particularly in the experience of the city’s artists; likewise, it examines the production of artists’ selves and subjectivities in Atlanta’s shifting economic, political, and physical landscape.