Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses

Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Social Sciences & Humanities.

Based on six years of extended ethnography in multiple agricultural areas of the Eastern United States, Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses is a monograph which explores the lives of migrant ...
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Aggregating

Pp. 171-218 (48)

Keith V. Bletzer

Abstract

This chapter is based on fieldwork at the edge of another primary site farm town. Men and women arrived for a perishable crop split season, left for one-three weeks, before returning to harvest the crop many had planted. Observations over two summers reveal timing required for disaggregation at the end of the first half (split season) and full season, when the work has been finished. Sometimes expenditure of resources left one with little food and no foreseeable employment. Group members who gather in clusters become inter-dependent on each other. For gatherings observed in this site, groups included a mix in backgrounds with an affinity for farm labor, as the main reason for aggregating, which emphasizes readiness for labor, however brief it might be, when the opportunity is offered.

Main players are introduced among those who spent time at The Market at the edge of the farm town. Exploring the formation of clusters, several dozen individuals are mentioned, including pinhook workers (Borado, Cien, Indigo, Juarez, Luis, Neto, Pastor, Taro), contractors (Geraldo, Hectór, Placido, Ricardo), re-settled migrants (Doñoni), local women (Kirabo, Pixel) and men from the town (LA and Walker), drug users (Santo) and distributors (Stanton), men passing-through (Vasco), watchman for The Market (Arary) and its two originators (Chano and Nacho), among others.

Keywords:

Abandoned properties, commodity poaching, disaggregation, economically precarious, field-intercept, food pilfering, naturalistic settings, onthe- season, pinhook contractors, pinhook workers, remnant crops, roadside market, seasonal assembly, small groups, split season, time-break, time-wait, time-work, work affinity, Work-Travel Study.

Affiliation:

School of Human Evolution and Social Change Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (USA)