“Them old guys… they knew what to do”: Examining the impact of industry collapse on two tribal reservations
Blythe George, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology & Social Policy, Harvard University
Previous studies of the impact of industry decline on individuals focus on cities; however little is known about the impact of industry decline on life outcomes on tribal reservations. Using 46 in-depth interviews conducted on the Yurok and Hoopa Valley reservations, I answer the following research questions: is there an empirical basis for asserting a relationship between the decline of the logging industry and weakening of male labor force attachment, and for relating these economic shifts to changes in attitudes, expectations and behavior, including methamphetamine use since 1985? Using a cohort model, I describe the changes in male labor force attachment following the decline of the logging industry, as well changes in personal behavior, especially methamphetamine use from 1985 to present. These findings support existing theories of weak labor force attachment as a result of industry decline.