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Working hard and staying safe: Drilling rig hands in Alberta

Economic Action in Theory and Practice: Anthropological Investigations

ISBN: 978-0-85724-117-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-118-4

ISSN: 0190-1281

Publication date: 16 August 2010

Abstract

Drilling rig work is dangerous, repetitive, and both physically and emotionally taxing, but is attractive to many workers because it affords a means whereby those lacking postsecondary education are able to earn high salaries while still in their twenties and thirties. This chapter examines the workplace culture of the personnel at a number of rig sites in Alberta, Canada. It focuses on the ways in which workers speak about their own motivations and goals and discusses the verbal norms surrounding safety and accidents. It concludes that – the insistence on “money” as the prime motivator in the workers' folk model notwithstanding – there are significant personal rewards inherent in being an accepted member of the production team.

Citation

Houser, D.E. (2010), "Working hard and staying safe: Drilling rig hands in Alberta", Wood, D.C. (Ed.) Economic Action in Theory and Practice: Anthropological Investigations (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 331-349. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0190-1281(2010)0000030017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited