Matthew Desmond

in On the Fireline

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780226144085
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226144078 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter, which begins with the author's story of how he became a firefighter, also describes the dangers faced by wildland firefighters. It then sets out the book's main purpose, which is to reconstruct the practical logic of firefighting specifically by focusing on how firefighters' dispositions and skills acquired from their rural, masculine, and working-class upbringings connect with the organizational common sense of the U.S. Forest Service to form a wildland firefighting habitus. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: firefighters; firefighting; wildland fires

Chapter.  6195 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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