Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorField, Sean
dc.identifier.citationField , S 2021 , ' Power and precariousness in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industry ' , Critique of Anthropology , vol. 41 , no. 3 , pp. 303-319 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 273843435
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 46809be5-9585-4313-a570-dd8445f5c5ec
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85113699373
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000690412800007
dc.descriptionThis project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement number 715146.en
dc.description.abstractDrawing on ethnographic research in Houston, Texas, I explore how oil and gas experts negotiate social power and precariousness within the US hydrocarbon sector. In an industry long associated with corporate power, the careers of experts are precariously balanced on rising and falling hydrocarbon prices. This makes the social power these experts wield as fluid as the commodities they are premised on. I show that informal social networks solidified by industry associations can buffer this precariousness by opening new employment opportunities and allowing them to maintain their connection to elite industry circles through periods of unemployment and uncertainty. For many working in the industry, precariousness defines the US hydrocarbon sector as much as the wealth that it is known to generate. Precariousness, I argue, is not just experienced by specific groups of people but rather is a general characteristic of capitalism that touches all but a select few.
dc.relation.ispartofCritique of Anthropologyen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
dc.subjectSocial networksen
dc.subjectSocial poweren
dc.subjectGN Anthropologyen
dc.titlePower and precariousness in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industryen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Social Anthropologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Energy Ethicsen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record