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dc.contributor.advisor Boyer, Dominic
dc.creatorLaFlamme, Marcel
dc.date.accessioned 2018-06-20T21:43:23Z
dc.date.available 2018-06-20T21:43:23Z
dc.date.created 2018-05
dc.date.issued 2018-03-23
dc.date.submitted May 2018
dc.identifier.citation LaFlamme, Marcel. "Remaking the Pilot: Unmanned Aviation and the Transformation of Work in Postagrarian North Dakota." (2018) Diss., Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/102256.
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/102256
dc.description.abstract This dissertation examines changing forms of expertise and their institutionalization as piloting becomes an activity undertaken on the ground rather than in the sky. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in and around the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota between 2010 and 2015, I show how the maturation and proliferation of unmanned aircraft or drones has precipitated changes in what it means to be a pilot that, in turn, index wider transformations in contemporary work. The forms of skill associated with operating an aircraft are revealed to be in flux, as drone pilots learn to compose environments for perception and action and to navigate new media infrastructures. Yet transindividual social forms also prove to be evolving, as the profession of piloting is riven by heterogeneous temporalities and as the hobby takes on new importance as a handler of exceptions. This dissertation seeks to push past the fascination with spatial discontinuity that marks so many responses to the drone, and to locate the elaboration of this technology in a particular, troubled place. In making sense of a coordinated, decade-long effort to position North Dakota as a center of the unmanned aviation industry, I develop an account of Plains biopolitics, a regionally specific mode of governance that aims to keep a sufficiently vital settler population in place by fostering an economic milieu in which potential outmigrants can and do choose to stay. It is, I argue, the failure of settlement that haunts Plains biopolitics, marking efforts to retain and grow the region’s (non-Native) population as at once a bid to maintain settler dominance and an expression of sublimated anxiety about settlement’s fragility.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subjectdrones
economic development
settler colonialism
technology
unmanned aviation
work
dc.title Remaking the Pilot: Unmanned Aviation and the Transformation of Work in Postagrarian North Dakota
dc.date.updated 2018-06-20T21:43:23Z
dc.type.genre Thesis
dc.type.material Text
thesis.degree.department Anthropology
thesis.degree.discipline Social Sciences
thesis.degree.grantor Rice University
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy


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