Mining coal and undermining gender: rhythms of work and family in the American West

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Though mining is an infamously masculine industry, women make up 20 percent of all production crews in Wyoming's Powder River Basin--the largest coal-producing region in the United States. How do these women fit into a working culture supposedly hostile to females? This is what anthropologist Jessica Smith Rolston, herself a onetime mine worker and the daughter of a miner, set out to discover. Her answers, based on years of participant-observation in four mines and extensive interviews with miners, managers, engineers, and the families of mine employees, offer a rich and surprising view of the working "families" that miners construct. In this picture, gender roles are not nearly as straightforward--or as straitened--as stereotypes suggest. Gender is far from the primary concern of coworkers in crews. Far more important, Rolston finds, is protecting the safety of the entire crew and finding a way to treat each other well despite the stresses of their jobs. These miners share the burden of rotating shift work--continually switching between twelve-hour day and night shifts--which deprives them of the daily rhythms of a typical home, from morning breakfasts to bedtime stories. Rolston identifies the mine workers' response to these shared challenges as a new sort of constructed kinship that both challenges and reproduces gender roles in their everyday working and family lives. Crews' expectations for coworkers to treat one another like family and to adopt an "agricultural" work ethic tend to minimize gender differences. And yet, these differences remain tenacious in the equation of masculinity with technical expertise, and of femininity with household responsibilities. For Rolston, such lingering areas of inequality highlight the importance of structural constraints that flout a common impulse among men and women to neutralize the significance of gender, at home and in the workplace. At a time when the Appalachian region continues to dominate discussion of mining culture, this book provides a very different and unexpected view--of how miners live and work together, and of how their lives and work reconfigure ideas of gender and kinship.
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Grouped Work ID 1005d8f6-ce9c-35af-6f27-d765c84a7b32
Grouping Title mining coal and undermining gender rhythms of work and family in the american west
Grouping Author rolston jessica smith
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-12-05 03:52:36AM
Last Indexed 2018-12-14 07:08:28AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Rolston, Jessica Smith, 1980-
author_display Rolston, Jessica Smith
available_at_lakecounty Lake County Public Library
detailed_location_lakecounty Lake County Non Fiction
display_description Among the miners of Wyoming's Powder River Basin-the largest coal-producing region in the U.S.-anthropologist Jessica Smith Rolston reveals how the mining industry, though heavily masculinized, generates new configurations of the "working family"--A kind of kinship based on the shared burdens of shift work and concerns for safety, which challenges and reproduces gender differences in everyday working and family life.
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itype_lakecounty Adult non-fiction
last_indexed 2018-12-14T14:08:28.001Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_lakecounty 331.4 ROL
local_time_since_added_lakecounty 2 Months, Quarter, Six Months, Year
owning_library_lakecounty Lake County
owning_location_lakecounty Lake County Public Library
primary_isbn 9780813563671
publishDate 2014
record_details Ebrary (CCU):EBC1651775|eBook|eBook||English|Rutgers University Press,|[2014]|1 online resource (249 pages) : illustrations, Ebsco (ASU):ocn873806774|eBook|eBook||English|Rutgers University Press,|[2014]|1 online resource (xii, 236 pages), ProQuest Ebook Central (Western):EBC1651775|eBook|eBook||English|Rutgers University Press,|[2014]|1 online resource (249 pages) : illustrations, ils:.b58231353|Book|Books||English||2014|xii, 236 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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subject_facet BUSINESS & ECONOMICS -- Labor, Coal mines and mining -- Social aspects, Coal mines and mining -- Social aspects -- Wyoming, Electronic books, POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Labor & Industrial Relations, SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Gender Studies, Sex role, Women coal miners, Women coal miners -- Wyoming, Work and family, Wyoming
title_display Mining coal and undermining gender : rhythms of work and family in the American West
title_full Mining coal and undermining gender : rhythms of work and family in the American West / Jessica Smith Rolston
title_short Mining coal and undermining gender :
title_sub rhythms of work and family in the American West
topic_facet BUSINESS & ECONOMICS, Coal mines and mining, Gender Studies, Labor, Labor & Industrial Relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIAL SCIENCE, Sex role, Social aspects, Women coal miners, Work and family