ERIC Number: ED249011
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Productive and Reproductive Work on the Family Farm: Changes Among Ethnic Groups in Ellis County, Kansas.
Flora, Cornelia Butler; Stitz, John
This report is based on data obtained from historical documents, quantitative analysis of state agricultural censuses for 1885, 1895, and 1905, and interviews with farm women of Volga and German heritages, aged 14 to 87. The participation of women in wheat-based farming systems in Ellis County, Kansas, is examined as related to the ethnic background of the farm families and changing land tenure patterns of the area. In addition to childbearing, women settlers engaged in subsistence activities (gardening, sale of eggs, butter and cream), hired out for domestic work, and collected bones and chips from buffalo and cattle for sale to fertilizer companies. Because daughters assisted with subsistence activities and/or were sent to work in town as household help, increase in number of daughters was significantly correlated with increase in farm size. For both ethnic groups, participation in subsistence production reduced female educational opportunities. Today, male interests still dominate, but there are more choices available for farm children. Children's choices, in turn, limit choices of the mother. Women continue as gap fillers and shock absorbers. Farm women still identify themselves as such. Like their ancestors, daughters leave the farm when possible. Women continue to garden, raise poultry, and milk cows, but more as a hobby, a way of seeking self-fulfillment, rather than because of economic necessity. (NEC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: German Americans; Kansas (Ellis County); Russian Americans
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (47th, College Station, TX, August 22-25, 1984).