Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This study is an exploration of the relation of farm women to agricultural production. Data were collected on the work of sixty farm women from Bruce County, Ontario, with the aim of determining whether Canadian farm women are losing their role in agricultural production within family farm enterprises. Older and younger women from large and small beef and dairy farms were included in the sample. Data were collected on both housework and farm work. Three central findings emerged concerning the performance of housework. First, the nature of housework more closely approximates its urban equivalent as household technology is adopted. Second, there is evidence of a decline in the performance of domestic production activities over time, with that decline most pronounced for the younger women. Third, the division of household labour by sex has remained relatively constant over time. Women continue to assume the primary responsibility for housework with younger husbands and husbands of employed women assuming an only slighly greater portion of the overall work load. Women's role in farm work has declined over the last two to four decades. The younger women are now involved in farm work to a lesser extent than older women now, and their participation level is even smaller in relation to that of women twenty or more years ago. Women from small farms continue to perform farm work tasks in greater proportions than women from the larger, more industrialized farms. Like their urban counterparts earlier in this century, farm women are found to be working increasingly further away from the center of economic production. It is concluded that farm women's role in production declines with the advancement of industrialization. Finally, certain implications concerning the potential for devaluation and non-recognition of the economic contribution made by farm women are raised.
Graff, Linda L., "The Changing Nature of Farm Women's Work Roles Under The Industrialization of Agricultural Production" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2793.
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