This book explores how fishers make the sea productive through their labour, using technologies ranging from wooden boats to digital GPS plotters to create familiar places in a seemingly hostile environment. It shows how their lives are affected by capitalist forces in the markets they sell to, forces that shape even the relations between fishers on the same boat. Fishers frequently have to make impossible choices between safe seamanship and staying afloat economically, and the book describes the human impact of the high rate of deaths in the fishing industry. The book makes a unique contribution to understanding human-environment relations, examining the places fishers create and name at sea, as well as technologies and navigation practices. It combines phenomenology and political economy to offer new approaches for analyses of human-environment relations and technologies.
This book is based on ethnographic research from 2001-2, during Bank of Scotland's first year of merger with Halifax to form HBOS. The research is revisited from the present perspective in the wake of the global banking and financial crisis that undermined HBOS in 2008. This historical perspective on the ethnographic data is used to explore: people's responses to the pressures of heightened competition and organisational change; mutual and sometimes antagonistic perceptions of Scottish and English identities across the two merged banks; conflicting evaluations of national and organisational cultures; and the challenges of integrating ethnographic and historical perspectives in a single study. As an historical ethnography it 'salvages' a disappearing culture of Scottish and UK banking, disintegrated by neoliberal processes.