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Women's voices: explaining poverty and plenty in a rural community

Women's voices: explaining poverty and plenty in a rural community

Rural Sociology 67(2): 234-254

This paper explores how a multiclass sample of white rural women in an economically depressed, overwhelmingly nonfarm community explain both their own families economic circumstances and those of the most disadvantaged families in their community. All women in the sample--even those with a history of economic instability and welfare receipt--articulate an ethic of family self-sufficiency. They uniformly believe that anyone who can work should work, although they vary in their definition of who "can work." In general, the lower the social class, the greater the understanding of the social processes that precipitate and perpetuate poverty. Both working-class and poor women clearly recognize the limitations of the local market for labor. Sample women are ambivalent about welfare receipt and welfare reform. Although they believe that families should be self-supporting, many recognize the necessity of welfare for the survival of some families in the community.

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Accession: 004010478

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2002.tb00102.x

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