On the Margins: U.S. Americans in a Border Town to Mexico
Johannes Wilm, an organizer and activist from Oslo, Norway, goes off to live in and study Douglas, AZ, a border town to Mexico, for half a year. At first sight, Douglas looks like nothing but a run down company town - after the Phelps Dodge smelter left in the 1980s. Interestingly though, Wilm discovers that old modes of social stratification disappeared together with the jobs. This book has to be seen as a tribute to the progressive sides of the lumpenproletariat. "This is a well written, experience-near ethnography of marginality in every sense of the word: Douglas is literally on the margins between the USA and Mexico, it is geographically marginal, economically marginal and culturally marginal in the US context. Wilm weaves a convincing and compelling picture of the precarious, reckless and often paradoxical lives led by people in Douglas." -Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Professor of Social Anthropology (Oslo/Amsterdam)
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First, let me say that I live in Douglas and know Johannes casually.Most of the others I know also,some very well. I must say that Johannes is basically full of crap. He is an immature kid who has never had a job in his life. He is living off the money that his parents set aside for his college education. As for the others, I can honestly say that they overwhelmingly are a group of misfits and malcontents who have pretty much failed at life and dropped out. That's how they ended up in Douglas. After reading this treatise by Johannes, I wonder how someone can be this naive and immature. Maybe in 20 years after he has worked, married, and raised a family, he will have a better understanding of the world.