Face Boss tells a story that few people have heard: what it is really like to labor inside the dark and dangerous world of a vast underground coal mine. With unflinching honesty, as well as considerable humor and insight, Michael Guillerman recalls his nearly eighteen years of working as both a union miner and a salaried section foreman-or “face boss”-at the Peabody Coal Company's Camp No. 2 mine in Union County, Kentucky.
Guillerman undertook this memoir because of the many misconceptions about coal mining that were evidenced most recently in the media coverage of the 2006 Sago Mine disaster. Shedding some much-needed light on this little-understood topic, Face Boss is riveting, authentic, and often raw. Guillerman describes in stark detail the risks, dangers, and uncertainties of coal mining: the wildcat and contract strikes, layoffs, shutdowns, mine fires, methane ignitions, squeezes, and injuries. But he also discusses the good times that emerged despite perilous working conditions: the camaraderie and immense sense of accomplishment that came with mining hundreds of tons of coal every day. Along the way, Guillerman spices his narrative with numerous anecdotes from his many years on the job and discusses race relations within mining culture and the expanding role of women in the industry.
While the book contributes significantly to the general knowledge of contemporary mining, Face Boss is also a tribute to those men and women who toil anonymously beneath the rolling hills of western Kentucky and the other coal-rich regions of the United States. More than just the story of one man's life and career, it is a stirring testament to the ingenuity, courage, and perseverance of the American coal miner.
Michael D. Guillerman worked for the Peabody Coal Company from 1974 to 1991. Over his long career, his jobs included belt shoveler, timberman, shooter, drill and shuttle car operator, rock duster, and finally section foreman. Now retired, he lives with his wife, Marie, in Union County, Kentucky.
Faith and the Pursuit of Health explores how Pentecostal Christians manage chronic illness in ways that sheds light on health disparities and social suffering in Samoa, a place where rates of obesity and related cardiometabolic disorders have reached population-wide levels. Pentecostals grapple with how to maintain the health of their congregants in an environment that fosters cardiometabolic disorders. They find ways to manage these forms of sickness and inequality through their churches and the friendships developed within these institutions. Examining how Pentecostal Christianity provides many Samoans with tools to manage day-to-day issues around health and sickness, Jessica Hardin argues for understanding the synergies between how Christianity and biomedicine practice chronicity.
This book looks at fatwa in Indonesia during the period following the fall of President Suharto. It is an in-depth exploration of three fatwa-making agencies-Majelis Ulama Indonesia, Lajnah Bahth al-Masail Nahdlatul Ulama, and Majelis Tarjih Muhammadiyah-all of which are highly influential in shaping religious thought and the lives of Muslims in Indonesia. Rather than look at all the fatwa that have emerged in the period, Pradana Boy ZTF focuses on those that have strong repercussions for intra-community relations and the development of Indonesian Muslims more generally, including fatwa pertaining to sectarianism, pluralism, secularism and liberalism.
In Fighting Invisibility, Monica Mong Trieu argues that we must consider the role of physical and symbolic space to fully understand the nuances of Asian American racialization. By doing this, we face questions such as, historically, who has represented Asian America? Who gets to represent Asian America? This book shifts the primary focus to Midwest Asian America to disrupt—and expand beyond—the existing privileged narratives in United States and Asian American history.
Drawing from in-depth interviews, census data, and cultural productions from Asian Americans in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan, this interdisciplinary research examines how post-1950s Midwest Asian Americans navigate identity and belonging, racism, educational settings, resources within co-ethnic communities, and pan-ethnic cultural community. Their experiences and life narratives are heavily framed by three pervasive themes of spatially defined isolation, invisibility, and racialized visibility.
Fighting Invisibility makes an important contribution to racialization literature, while also highlighting the necessity to further expand the scope of Asian American history-telling and knowledge production.
Blue Ridge tacos, kimchi with soup beans and cornbread, family stories hiding in cookbook marginalia, African American mountain gardens—this wide-ranging anthology considers all these and more. Diverse contributors show us that contemporary Appalachian tables and the stories they hold offer new ways into understanding past, present, and future American food practices. The poets, scholars, fiction writers, journalists, and food professionals in these pages show us that what we eat gives a beautifully full picture of Appalachia, where it’s been, and where it’s going.
Contributors: Courtney Balestier, Jessie Blackburn, Karida L. Brown, Danille Elise Christensen, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Michael Croley, Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, Robert Gipe, Suronda Gonzalez, Emily Hilliard, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Abigail Huggins, Erica Abrams Locklear, Ronni Lundy, George Ella Lyon, Jeff Mann, Daniel S. Margolies, William Schumann, Lora E. Smith, Emily Wallace, Crystal Wilkinson
2020 Award for Distinguished Book from the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association
One in five people in the United States is a birdwatcher, yet the popular understanding of birders reduces them to comical stereotypes, obsessives who only have eyes for their favorite rare species. In real life, however, birders are paying equally close attention to the world around them, observing the devastating effects of climate change and mass extinction, while discovering small pockets of biodiversity in unexpected places.
For the Birds offers readers a glimpse behind the binoculars and reveals birders to be important allies in the larger environmental conservation movement. With a wealth of data from in-depth interviews and over three years of observing birders in the field, environmental sociologist Elizabeth Cherry argues that birders learn to watch wildlife in ways that make an invaluable contribution to contemporary conservation efforts. She investigates how birders develop a “naturalist gaze” that enables them to understand the shared ecosystem that intertwines humans and wild animals, an appreciation that motivates them to participate in citizen science projects and wildlife conservation.
Histories try to forget, as this evocative study of one community reveals. Forgetting and the Forgotten details the nature of how a community forged its story against outsiders. Historian Michael C. Batinski explores the habits of forgetting that enable communities to create an identity based on silencing competing narratives. The white settlers of Jackson County, Illinois, shouldered the hopes of a community and believed in the justice of their labor as it echoed the national story. The county’s pastkeepers, or keepers of the past, emphasizing the white settlers’ republican virtue, chose not to record violence against Kaskaskia people and African Americans and to disregard the numerous transient laborers. Instead of erasing the presence of outsiders, the pastkeepers could offer only silence, but it was a silence that could be broken.
Batinski’s historiography critically examines local historical thought in a way that illuminates national history. What transpired in Jackson County was repeated in countless places throughout the nation. At the same time, national history writing rarely turns to experiences that can be found in local archives such as court records, genealogical files, archaeological reports, coroner’s records, and veterans’ pension files. In this archive, juxtaposed with the familiar actors of Jackson County history—Benningsen Boon, John A. Logan, and Daniel Brush—appear the Sky People, Italian immigrant workers, black veterans of the Civil War and later champions of civil rights whose stories challenge the dominant narrative.
Often considered the father of anthropological studies in Mexico, Manuel Gamio originally published Forjando Patria in 1916. This groundbreaking manifesto for a national anthropology of Mexico summarizes the key issues in the development of anthropology as an academic discipline and the establishment of an active field of cultural politics in Mexico. Written during the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution, the book has now been translated into English for the first time.
Armstrong-Fumero's translation allows readers to develop a more nuanced understanding of this foundational work, which is often misrepresented in contemporary critical analyses. As much about national identity as anthropology, this text gives Anglophone readers access to a particular set of topics that have been mentioned extensively in secondary literature but are rarely discussed with a sense of their original context. Forjando Patria also reveals the many textual ambiguities that can lend themselves to different interpretations.
The book highlights the history and development of Mexican anthropology and archaeology at a time when scholars in the United States are increasingly recognizing the importance of cross-cultural collaboration with their Mexican colleagues. It will be of interest to anthropologists and archaeologists studying the region, as well as those involved in the history of the discipline.
While environmental disputes and conflicts over fossil fuel extraction have grown in recent years, few issues have been as contentious in the twenty-first century as those surrounding the impacts of unconventional natural gas and oil development using hydraulic drilling and fracturing techniques—more commonly known as “fracking”—on local communities. In Fractured Communities, Anthony E. Ladd and other leading environmental sociologists present a set of crucial case studies analyzing the differential risk perceptions, socio-environmental impacts, and mobilization of citizen protest (or quiescence) surrounding unconventional energy development and hydraulic fracking in a number of key U.S. shale regions. Fractured Communities reveals how this contested terrain is expanding, pushing the issue of fracking into the mainstream of the American political arena.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once synonymous with steel. But after the factories closed, the city bet its future on a new industry: casino gambling. On the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, thousands of flashing slot machines and digital bells replaced the fires in the blast furnaces and the shift change whistles of the industrial workplace. From Steel to Slots tells the story of a city struggling to make sense of the ways in which local jobs, landscapes, and identities are transformed by global capitalism.
Postindustrial redevelopment often makes a clean break with a city’s rusted past. In Bethlehem, where the new casino is industrial-themed, the city’s heritage continues to dominate the built environment and infuse everyday experiences. Through the voices of steelworkers, casino dealers, preservationists, immigrants, and executives, Chloe Taft examines the ongoing legacies of corporate presence and urban development in a small city—and their uneven effects.
Today, multinational casino corporations increasingly act as urban planners, promising jobs and new tax revenues to ailing communities. Yet in an industry premised on risk and capital liquidity, short-term gains do not necessarily mean long-term commitments to local needs. While residents often have few cards to play in the face of global capital and private development, Taft argues that the shape economic progress takes is not inevitable, nor must it always look forward. Memories of corporations’ accountability to communities persist, and citizens see alternatives for more equitable futures in the layered landscapes all around them.