The Farmer's Wife: An Oral History Project

by Stevie M Munz

Institution: Ohio University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Communication; Farm wife; Midwest; Midwest Farming; Identity; Narrative Theory; Oral History
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2121504
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ohiou1469038905


This oral history project explores the everyday experiences of farmers’ wives who live and work on family farms in western Illinois. Through oral history interviews, I examined how farmers’ wives narrated their life stories and what these stories tell us about women’s gendered lives in rural farming spaces. My inductive analysis is informed by ethnographic and oral history interviewing practices, fieldwork experiences, and resultant field notes. Analysis of the women’s stories reveals how the family farm is a site where the private and public spaces of life are entangled, and the experiences of social isolation, family hardships, housework, fieldwork, and child-rearing are gendered and excluded from consideration in the grand narrative of family farming in Midwest America. Advisors/Committee Members: Chawla, Devika (Advisor).