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Title: How the magic happens: An exploration of the spiritual and cultural transformation at Burning Man
Authors: Cheng, Caitlin
Advisors: Lederman, Rena
Department: Anthropology
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: This thesis seeks to explore the evolution of Burning Man from a summer beach gathering to a global cultural movement. Building upon the anthropological frameworks regarding non-faith spiritualities and pilgrimage, my thesis examines the rituals and qualities of the desert playa that characterize the journey to Black Rock City as a modern-day, secular pilgrimage. While participants journeying to Burning Man do not intentionally seek transformational experiences, many emerge from the desert reporting on shifts in consciousness and a newfound sense of freedom. Through analyzing participant narratives, this thesis aims to uncover the ways in which Burning Man has created profound effects on thousands of lives, and fostered spiritual and cultural healing. Finally, it critically examines the potential for this desert culture to create and sustain broader cultural transformation.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Anthropology, 1961-2020

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