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Rogue Fishermen and Rebel Miners: Informal Economy and Drinking Spaces in Maine and Montana’s Resource Extraction Communities

Author(s): Megan Victor

Year: 2014

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Summary

This paper examines the way that frontier spaces shaped their inhabitants’ interactions, considering informal economy, trade and exchange, and the negotiation of social capital through commensal politics, as seen in the archaeological record. The processes at work within frontier locales influence inhabitants in such similar ways that they can be examined broadly across time and space. Frontier spaces are central to a more nuanced understanding of the trade networks that spanned the Atlantic and the North America. Studying these spaces can reveal the ways that economic and social capital was negotiated within exchange networks and local regimes of value. This paper addresses the microeconomics at the Isles of Shoals’ fishing station comparatively; the fishermen deployed their economic gains drawn from marine resources to negotiate social capital and carry out transactions within an informal economy inside the local tavern. I hypothesize that the same processes were going on at the mining town of Highland City, in Montana, where mineral rather than marine resources were at the heart of the negotiations.


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Rogue Fishermen and Rebel Miners: Informal Economy and Drinking Spaces in Maine and Montana’s Resource Extraction Communities. Megan Victor. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437345)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-78,04

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America