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ERIC Number: EJ1086560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0266-0830
The Farm Wife Mystery School: Women's Use of Social Media in the Contemporary North American Urban Homestead Movement
Smith, Antonia
Studies in the Education of Adults, v47 n2 p142-159 Aut 2015
Within the larger North American food security movement, self-professed "urban homesteaders" have been tearing up their backyard lawns to plant vegetable gardens and install chicken coops in search of greater self-sufficiency and independence from industrial agriculture and the corporate food chain. Participants are most often white, middle-class professionals who have no previous experience in food production or preservation and they turn to the internet and social media for support and instruction. This article considers the online community created by the urban homesteading movement as a so-called community of practice, an educational space where adult learners never meet face-to-face, but where significant informal, self-directed learning is taking place. Women's urban homesteading blogs are examined in the context of social movement learning to determine whether the use of social media as an educational and community-building tool is aiding women in furthering their food security goals. Women's gender roles in this contemporary movement are also considered, and this analysis suggests that using social media may be helping to bridge the traditional isolation expressed by previous generations of women, to reinforce a sense of political purpose to home-based food production, and to potentially create an income source for the family.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A