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ISSN 2332-0915

Anthropology
Open Access

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Review Article

Outdoor Clusters in an Agricultural Community of the Eastern United States

Keith Bletzer V*

School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Keith Bletzer V
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Tel: 480-965-2100
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 25, 2016; Accepted date: September 27, 2016; Published date: September 29, 2016

Citation: Bletzer KV (2016) Outdoor Clusters in an Agricultural Community of the Eastern United States. Anthropol 4:169. doi: 10.4172/2332-0915.1000169

Copyright: © 2016 Bletzer KV. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Researchers have long been interested in male “assemblages” that gather in urban areas, and to a much lesser extent, in farming communities. Researchers in farming areas posit a propensity for alcohol consumption among unmarried men and gathering for instrumental purposes as reasons that groups “assemble.” The present analysis extends these rare investigations by analyzing aggregations of farm workers enrolled in a university drug study in a farming community of the southeastern United States. Findings included: non-users were more numerous in clusters than participant-users enrolled in the formal drug/alcohol study; more frequent contacts took place on days following a weekend, when men sought information on work (availability, pay rates, etc.); more than three participant-users were rarely observed hanging-out together. Clusters varied between “anchor” (extended longevity on any given day) and “cycled” (members come-and-go). Most clusters were small: the mean number of persons per cluster was 3.65 with fewer users (mean 1.50) than non-users (mean 2.15). Extending these field data (supported by conversational observations) to distinguish contacts as ‘weak ties’ and ‘strong ties’ revealed greater frequency of ‘weak ties’ showing that male farm workers generally were engaged in non-drug interactions to secure information on work and/or housing.

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