ERIC Number: ED422132
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Planetary Sustainability and Sustaining Family Relationships: Family Division of Labor and the Possibility of Female Liberation in the Back-to-the-Land Movement of the Late Twentieth.
Jacob, Jeffrey C.; Brinkerhoff, Merlin, B.
Many women find the modern nuclear family confining and oppressive, and seek liberation. Moving ahead to the postmodern family, as feminists advocate, is not the only path. Back-to-the-landers find fulfillment in the interdependent premodern family model. Surveys and interviews of over 2,000 back-to-the-landers over a period of 15 years are used to explore female independence and sense of fulfillment within a movement that attempts to recapture part of an idyllic past while still captive to modern notions of gender equity and deference. The average respondent was 47 and well educated, had been married 15 years, and had two children. Results show a clear division of labor along gender lines, yet perceived and apparent inequity in the division of labor does not affect satisfaction with partner or other quality of life factors (general happiness and general satisfaction) for back-to-the-landers, particularly females. While the spiritual nature of back-to-the-land living and a sense of freedom (leisure) do not explain variance in satisfaction with a partner relationship, these two dimensions of back-to-country life do account for considerable variance in general happiness and general satisfaction, indicating that they may function as compensating factors for female smallholders. A discussion of the "social glue" that holds families together, and the link between family sustainability and planetary sustainability suggests that the best option may be to go back, in order to move ahead. Survey results are presented in four tables and an appendix. Contains endnotes. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A