Publication Date



[Excerpt] This book is about shrimp fishers from one coastal community in southeastern Louisiana. But more generally, it is about how individuals respond to large-scale economic change and industrial restructuring, largely a consequence of the forces of globalization. Throughout the book, I draw from the rich ethnographic data I collected to show how local actors respond to economic challenges. And while focusing on the responses of the shrimpers to the collapse of their industry is culturally worthy in itself, there is value that goes well beyond it. While most studies of industrial decline focus on communities where few jobs are available after an industry leaves, my case study shows that even though alternative employment opportunities exist, some forgo those opportunities to try to fulfill what they perceive as their cultural calling. Others reluctantly leave this identity behind. From the shrimp fishers' experiences with industrial decline, we stand to gain a greater understanding of the importance of the work that we do in shaping our social lives and our understanding of the world around us.


The abstract, table of contents, and first twenty-five pages are published with permission from the Cornell University Press. For ordering information, please visit the Cornell University Press.