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An Analysis of Social Capital Generation among Coalfield Residents in Harlan County, Kentucky

Feng Hao

The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.

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On the Cultural Meaning of Work in Postindustrial Societies

Johannes Moser

The paper discusses the question of the cultural meaning of work in postindustrial societies and pleads for a wider anthropological perspective on this topic. Based on a critique of postmodern discourses of our society it will be shown that work in our individualistic society still has a central and positive meaning although it underlies the typical ambivalence of modernity between liberty and discipline. Prejudices against the unemployed, just as the memories and experiences of workers in a mining community, show a positive attitude towards work. Even under unfavourable conditions people develop specific and creative ways to organize work that refer to more than just the necessity of subsistence.

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Blaming in the Boom and Bust

Greed Accusations in an Australian Coal Mining Town

Kari Dahlgren

a moral unease has arisen around the practice of financial speculation and the related alteration of labour and established forms of value within the mining community. Speculation and the boom and bust of commodity cycles have increased the precarity

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Commentary

Uneven development, the politics of scale, or global austerity?

Ida Susser

: Marx versus Weber in the anthropology of global systems .” American Ethnologist 40 ( 2 ): 258 – 266 . Nash , June . 2001 . “ Cultural resistance and class consciousness in Bolivian tin-mining communities .” In Power and popular protest: Latin

Open access

Returning to Nature

Post-carbon Utopias in Svalbard, Norway

Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard

, this is the first time that an entire mining community in Svalbard (or Norway) is being ‘returned to nature’ in this manner, 3 affecting approximately 350 miners. Currently, they are engaged in the dismantling or have sought relocation within the

Open access

Afterword

Trust: Too much, too little, never just enough

Andrea Ballestero

it shape sociality in contexts where a partition between the economic and the social performs foundational ideological work. Working among mining communities, Zhang shows how trust ‘forms the substrate of any mining project’. As in Billaud's case, we

Open access

Land and ocean grabs and the relative surplus population in Ghana

Jasper Abembia Ayelazuno

supernumeraries of the human race. Some of the dispossessed, as participants of some of our FGDs told us, have tried to find alternatives means of livelihoods by migrating to mining communities to engage in illegal small-scale mining (popularly known in Ghana as

Open access

Types of resistance and collective forced negotiation in mining

Aleida Azamar Alonso

processes in Mexico ( Azamar, 2017 , 2018 ). Some historical mining communities are currently open to negotiation processes if they may receive economic benefits, even when there is no environmental enforcement. There are also processes in which the

Free access

In Memoriam

W. S. F. Pickering

William Watts Miller

Yorkshire Mining Community . London : Eyre and Spottiswoode . Field , C. 2015 . Britain’s Last Religious Revival? Quantifying Belonging, Behaving and Believing in the Long 1950s . Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan . Halphen , É . 1998 . Hommages à

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Microbial Intimacy

Andrew Dawson and Simone Dennis

Rockers ( London : Taylor and Francis ). Dawson , A. ( 2002 ), ‘ The Mining Community and the Ageing Body: Towards a Phenomenology of Community? ’ in Realizing Community: Concepts, Social relationships and Sentiments , (ed.) V. Amit ( New York