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Oxford University Press


Taking the highway along the California coast and swinging inland into one of the state's agricultural belts, the hills appear golden in the distance, spotted with gnarled oak trees. Vineyards rise up on either side of the highway, and occasionally cowboys may be seen in the distance herding grazing cattle. Yet as clouds of dust rise from the fields in this agricultural community, the idyllic scene fades dramatically in the town of Rancho Benito, a community wearing the signs of the hard economic times. This once relatively prosperous community is now a place in which many families sit down to dinner in dramatically different circumstances than just a few years ago. After the 2008 recession hit this community, gaping holes appeared in all areas of the economy. Just driving through town, one sees evidence in the strip malls of the failure of one local business after another. Local industry has felt the ravages of the new economic landscape, from a partially empty mall to burgeoning bargain stores. While not all families have endured the same kind or degree of economic insecurity, nonetheless they dwell in a community strongly affected by the Great Recession. While not all have directly felt the effects on their immediate personal circles, all community members live in an environment indelibly stamped by the recession's imprint .

Chapter of

Beyond the Cubicle: Insecurity Culture and the Flexible Self


Allison J. Pugh


Copyright © 2016 Oxford University Press. Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. This material was originally published in Beyond the Cubicle: Insecurity Culture and the Flexible Self edited by Allison J. Pugh, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit

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