The 'Myth' of Family Farms
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.