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Putting the Barn Before the HouseWomen and Family Farming in Early Twentieth-Century New York$
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Grey Osterud

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450280

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450280.001.0001

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Intergenerational and Marital Partnerships

Intergenerational and Marital Partnerships

(p.125) 6 Intergenerational and Marital Partnerships
Putting the Barn Before the House

Grey Osterud

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the working relationships between women and men on a range of family farms in the Nanticoke Valley. More specifically, it considers what shaped the gender division of labor in farming families and how their work affected and reflected intergenerational and marital partnerships. It shows that the composition of the household affected the work assigned to growing children. Persuading at least one child to remain on the farm and enabling him or her to take over the enterprise while supporting the older generation was a key goal of those who had inherited their land. Gender and intergenerational relations exemplify the shifts that occurred as a family enlarged its farm operation and became an intergenerational partnership. This chapter examines the factors that created substantial variations in families' working relationships over time, as well as discrepancies between the work rural women actually did and how others perceived their role in the family enterprise.

Keywords:   family farms, Nanticoke Valley, gender division of labor, farming families, gender relations, intergenerational relations, intergenerational partnerships, marital partnerships, rural women

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