Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

The 'Myth' of Family Farms

Historian Gabriel Rosenberg challenges romanticism in the history of family farms in the US.
May 8, 2016, 1pm PDT | Elana Eden
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Tim Griffin

Rosenberg defines the "political mythology" of the historical family farm as an image of a stable nuclear family, conservative gender roles, and a permanent home life.

But his research presents a more complex story, one of near-constant resettlement and flexible social ties—and one tied to environmental degradation, slavery, and other histories of violence in the US:

Our contemporary political mythology built on the family farm is actually founded on a backlash to a much more complicated history ... Rural America — its landscapes and communities both — did not spring from a process of peaceful, orderly, or permanent settlement. Those processes were tumultuous, violent, and chaotic.

In addition to the piece in the Boston Globe, Rosenberg has published a book on the topic, The 4-H Harvest: Sexuality and the State in Rural America.

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, April 10, 2016 in Boston Globe
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email