Matthew desmond’s on the fireline: living and dying with wildland


As you’re reading On the Fireline, take good notes about what you’re reading.  Focus on the main concepts/questions I’ve outlined below

  • What is Desmond’s research question?  In other words, what is the purpose of his book?  Why is his study important? 
  • What theoretical frameworks does Desmond draw from to think about his analysis?
  • In what ways in the U.S. Forest Service an institution in the firefighters’ lives and work?
  • How does the firefighters’ social location shape the ways they view wildland firefighting and their interactions with their fellow firefighters?


 Discuss the research methods Desmond used for his study.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods he chose?  Why did he choose these methods?  Would you have chosen the same methods?  Why/why not? 


 What is country competence and how does it impact the ways in which the firefighters approach firefighting?   According to Desmond, what is habitus and what is the significance of habitus for country competence?  Discuss an example of habitus in your own life.  

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