Open Country, Iowa

Rural Women, Tradition, and Change

By Deborah Fink

Subjects: Anthropology Of Work
Series: SUNY series in the Anthropology of Work
Paperback : 9780887063183, 275 pages, October 1986
Hardcover : 9780887063176, 275 pages, October 1986

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Table of contents


1. Introduction

2. The Family in Open Country before World War II

3. The Scope of Women's Work before 1940

4. Woman to Woman

5. World War II and Rural Women

6. Eggs: A Case in Point

7. Women's Work after World War II

8. Women, Power, and Class in Open Country

9. A Concluding Perspective


References Cited



Open Country, Iowa links anthropology and history in a woman's perspective on the changing social patterns of rural Iowa communities. Using life stories which she has collected, Deborah Fink explores the experiences of today's women. She traces them to past influences, beginning with the time of the first settlers, and shows how family, religion, and work have changed over the years. Her interpretation of social patterns as determined by the history of national politics, economics, kinship, and community culture, call into question some common understandings about the traditional role of women and about changes initiated by World War II.