This chapter provides an overview of the monograph, grounded in extended ethnography; describes the rationale for its format; outlines basic characteristics of primary and secondary field sites; explains the purpose served by selecting life story excerpts from 24 randomized narrators; summarizes the story behind the monograph’s title; presents snippets of “people in the data” through extreme cases and events that extend beyond structural vulnerability into experiences much like our own, yet more severe in social adversity. Two monograph data sources are described, the Migrant Worker Risk Study and the Drug Use Onset Study. In the latter project, Narrative Life Stories were taped and transcribed. Men and women currently or once active in farm labor comprise the sample of 127 narrators, who at the time of their interview were using or had previously used drugs and/or alcohol.
Keywords: Being there, breadbasket, casual site, Drug Use Onset Study, emergent discovery, emergent sampling, extended ethnography, farm labor, field, house of habitus, industrial farming, life stories, Migrant Worker Risk Study, mobile colonialism, primary site, randomized narrators, secondary site, social exclusion, structural vulnerability, text, voiceless/invisible.