The Transformation of Rural Life: Southern Illinois, 1890-1990: TRANSFORMATION OF RURAL LIFE by Jane AdamsThe Transformation of Rural Life: Southern Illinois, 1890-1990: TRANSFORMATION OF RURAL LIFE by Jane Adams

The Transformation of Rural Life: Southern Illinois, 1890-1990: TRANSFORMATION OF RURAL LIFE

byJane Adams

Mass Market Paperback | December 1, 1994

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Jane Adams focuses on the transformation of rural life in Union County, Illinois, as she explores the ways in which American farming has been experienced and understood in the twentieth century. Reconstructing the histories of seven farms, she places the details of daily life within the context of political and economic change. Adams identifies contradictions that, on a personal level, influenced relations between children and parents, men and women, and bosses and laborers, and that, more generally, changed structures of power within the larger rural community.

In this historical ethnography, Adams traces two contradictory narratives: one stresses plenitude—rich networks of neighbors and kin, the ability to supply families from the farm, the generosity shown to those in need—while the other stresses the acute hardships and oppressive class, gender, and age inequities that characterized farm life. The New Deal and World War II disrupted both patterns, as the increased capital necessary for successful farming forced many to move from agriculture to higher-paid nonfarm work. This shift also changed the structure of the farm household, as homes modernized and women found work off the farm. Adams concludes that large-scale bureaucracies leveled existing class distinctions and that community networks eroded as farmers came to realize an improved standard of living.

Jane Adams is associate professor of anthropology and associate professor of history at Southern Illinois University.
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Title:The Transformation of Rural Life: Southern Illinois, 1890-1990: TRANSFORMATION OF RURAL LIFEFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.13 × 5.75 × 1.04 inPublished:December 1, 1994Publisher:University of North Carolina Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0807844799

ISBN - 13:9780807844793

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Editorial Reviews

Solidly researched, well argued, and beautifully written.

John Mack Faragher, Yale University