Women, Modernity, Rurality
This opening section of the book offers some provocative examples of the relations among women, modernity, and rurality, and lays out the central questions of this study, including: How have assumptions about the mutually constitutive relations between modernity and urbanity obscured rurality’s importance in the modern American cultural consciousness? In what ways did received attitudes about rurality and nostalgia enable special links between women and the rural? How did actual changes in agriculture open up interpretive connections between the farm and modernity, and between the farm and women? How did rurality—traditionally a locus for conservatism—serve as a site for challenging orthodox ideas about gender, race, class, commodity consumption, and women’s reproductive rights? This section also rehearses relevant scholarship in rural history, sociology, and literature.
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