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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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Conclusion

Conclusion

Gender, Mutuality, and Community in Retrospect

Chapter:
(p.231) Conclusion
Source:
Putting the Barn Before the House
Author(s):

Grey Osterud

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450280.003.0011

This book concludes by focusing on the issues of gender, mutuality, and community that surfaced in the Nanticoke Valley from the onset of the Great Depression through World War II. It examines how people in the countryside coped with the Great Depression through cooperation, sharing work and tools in the annual round of farm labor, and relying on mutual aid to ensure that most families had the bare necessities. It shows that longtime residents who had kept their farms while sending family members to work in the city devoted more of their efforts to subsistence production and small-scale, market-oriented agriculture. It also discusses postwar economic transformations in the Nanticoke Valley, with particular emphasis on the demise of neighborhood work-sharing and how it undermined the organizations and institutions that had sustained farm families. Finally, it considers how rural women's participation in organizing political-economic movements helped sustain family farms.

Keywords:   gender, mutuality, community, Nanticoke Valley, cooperation, mutual aid, agriculture, farm families, rural women, family farms

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