Shaun Cammack is a graduate student studying cultural psychology at the University of Chicago. He has just completed a 63-page MA thesis paper on what happened at Evergreen State College in 2017 and posted it on his website. Titled “The Evergreen Affair: A Social Justice Society” the thesis paper attempts to take a scholarly look at the culture that took over the campus and grabbed headlines around the country.
As Cammack sees it, there was a unique social justice tribe on campus made up a small percentage of the total population (a few hundred people). Nevertheless this tribe had enough clout to briefly take over because it included some professors and willing administrators. During the couple of days when this tribe was essentially in control of the campus, it began behaving according to its own beliefs and norms and these were visibly expressed on hours of video. By looking through this video and making note of their behavior, Cammack is able to identify a system of morality, beliefs, norms and methods of social control used by the tribe.
Cammack’s explanations of these norms in interesting reading, especially if you’re already familiar with some of the specific incidents he’s talking about. For instance, here’s an excerpt from a section on “speaking norms.”