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A New HeartlandWomen, Modernity, and the Agrarian Ideal in America$
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Janet Gallingani Casey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195338959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338959.001.0001

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Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Critical Cartographies

Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Critical Cartographies

Plotting Farm Women on the Cultural Map

(p.21) Chapter 1 Critical Cartographies
A New Heartland

Janet Galligani Casey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter evidences the currency and value of the Farm Woman as cultural trope within various Progressive Era discourses, and considers women’s actual and theoretical positions in reference to such appropriations. It explores how male agrarian-reform efforts routinely evaded discussions of women’s interests, even as other arenas of social theory (eugenics, for instance) valorized the Farm Woman as a vehicle of nativism and traditional gendered values. It also addresses the various paradigms available for defining farm women, and by implication women more generally, in reference to some of the social concerns that structured modernity, including attitudes toward production and reproduction, women’s work for wages, and commodity consumption.

Keywords:   farm woman, eugenics, nativism, production, reproduction, women’s work, commodity consumption

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