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Fractionated Lives

Fractionated Lives

Refineries and the Ecology of Entrepreneurial Life

(p.61) Chapter Three Fractionated Lives
Matthew T. Huber
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores the fundamental sociotechnical and ecological role of refineries in fragmenting working class power within the realm of social reproduction. This realm focuses on reproduction in understanding the decline of working-class politics in the United States that began with the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, and continued on through the McCarthyism of the 1950s, the crisis of the 1970s, and the rise of neoliberalism. The chapter reviews the basics of petroleum refining and its associated products that reveal particular barriers and problems in the material transformation of crude oil, as part of tracing the role of refineries in shaping the reproduction of entrepreneurial life.

Keywords:   refineries, working-class politics, social reproduction, 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, McCarthyism, 1970s crisis, neoliberalism, entrepreneurial life

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