By Glen H. Elder, Rand D. Conger
A century in the past, so much american citizens had ties to the land. Now just one in fifty is engaged in farming and little greater than a fourth reside in rural groups. even though no longer new, this exodus from the land represents one of many nice social activities of our age and is additionally symptomatic of an remarkable transformation of our society.
In Children of the Land, the authors ask even if conventional observations approximately farm families—strong intergenerational ties, efficient roles for adolescence in paintings and social management, committed mom and dad and a community of confident engagement in church, university, and group life—apply to 3 hundred Iowa little ones who've grown up with a few tie to the land. the reply, as this learn indicates, is a powerful certain. inspite of the hardships they confronted through the agricultural main issue of the Nineteen Eighties, those kids, whose lives we keep on with from the 7th grade to after highschool commencement, proved to be remarkably winning, either academically and socially.
A relocating testomony to the notably optimistic way of life of Iowa households with connections to the land, this uplifting booklet additionally indicates vital routes to luck for teenagers in different excessive danger settings.
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Extra info for Children of the Land: Adversity and Success in Rural America
Most of the mothers were employed in a paid job, even among families on a farm. With few exceptions, the grandparents grew up on farms in the Midwest and actually farmed at some point in their lives. Over half of the grandfathers were still engaged in farming at the end of the 1980s. The older grandfathers, in particular, experienced hard times as children and adults, during the 1920s and 1930s, but they also enjoyed a lengthy period of prosperity following World War II. These men typically launched their farming careers in the 1940s and 1950s, a time when land values were low and prices were high and relatively stable.
21 Nearly half of the men succeeded in finding jobs that used their skills, such as truck driving. One man who had lost his farm ten years earlier still felt "terrible" about it. It is hard, as another displaced farmer put it, to "watch others come in and pick it up and take it over. " He turned to alcohol as a way of dealing with the bitter memory, but soon managed to pull himself together with the help of his wife. During our first visit with these families, the men were less accepting of the loss than the wives, who typically envisioned an improvement in the economic well-being of the family.
50 The longer mother's work week, the greater the likelihood of this pattern of assistance among boys and girls. The labor needs and economic difficulties of farm families also increased the chances of paid work or earnings among youth, particularly boys. In the context of farming, these earnings typically came from projects, like raising a steer or a flock of chickens. Farm girls were most likely to use at least some of their earnings for family needs, in covering school expenses, for example.