April 15, 2019 1:00 PMUptown Campus
Sociology Colloquium: Debbie Becher, Barnard College
"A Fractured Nation: Private Property and the Fracking of the Rural West"
America’s recent explosion of oil and gas development has fractured the country. The fractures are physical, political, economic, and social. Becher’s book project, A Fractured Nation, argues that private property-- and its governance of land, oil and gas -- lies at the root of all of these fractures. Through vivid accounts of farmers’, ranchers’, and oil’s brokers’ experiences with property and oil development in the Northern Plains, the book argues against traditional understandings of private property as simply the foundation of markets or of elite accumulation. A Fractured Nation provides a case for understanding private property as a set of particular localized institutions. In Becher’s presentation at Tulane, she will discuss how even though local farmers and ranchers eschew public regulation of the oil industry, they regularly leverage private property to control energy companies.