In this essay, I tell the story of my encounter as a student with the dominant political culture at Macalester College, a small liberal arts undergraduate college in St. Paul, Minnesota. I argue that market strategies employed by the administration significantly contribute to the shape of that political culture by producing and reproducing the student body as a bundle of social locations and collective political self-identities. As a process deeply implicated in identity formation, both prior to and during the experience of arrival, this constitution of political culture through market strategies was susceptible to my efforts at critical interpretation using identity-based resources.



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