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6 - A Tough Life

Oil Workers and the Social Metamorphosis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2023

Maximilian Fritz Feichtner
Affiliation:
Independent Scholar
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Summary

Chapter 6 scrutinizes how the corporate structures set up by Texaco shaped social dynamics and daily life in the oil fields. Texaco’s facilities constituted fenced-off and almost independent spatial enclaves in the rainforest that ensured an unobstructed resource extraction based on imported labor and a “masculine” work ethic. The discriminatory hierarchies established within the oil industry shaped the experiences of the Ecuadorean and international oilmen. The workers’ position within the hierarchy of power also predisposed their relationship with nature: While the executive level was able to keep as much physical and emotional distance as possible, most oilmen were exposed to the hardships brought on by working in a tropical environment. While state institutions showed little presence in the region, national policies and military forces protected the oil companies’ interests, subdued protests by oilmen and the public, and contributed to solidify the new social order. This chapter explores for the first time the oilmen’s experiences from their own perspective, offering insights into the social dimension of the metamorphosis of the Amazon.

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Chapter
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The Metamorphosis of the Amazon
An Environmental History of Oil Extraction in Ecuador
, pp. 147 - 180
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • A Tough Life
  • Maximilian Fritz Feichtner, Independent Scholar
  • Book: The Metamorphosis of the Amazon
  • Online publication: 13 December 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009343053.006
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  • A Tough Life
  • Maximilian Fritz Feichtner, Independent Scholar
  • Book: The Metamorphosis of the Amazon
  • Online publication: 13 December 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009343053.006
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • A Tough Life
  • Maximilian Fritz Feichtner, Independent Scholar
  • Book: The Metamorphosis of the Amazon
  • Online publication: 13 December 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009343053.006
Available formats
×