About «Feminist Politics on the Farm »
Feminist Politics on the Farm examines rural women's organizations, politics, feminism, agricultural life, and personal relations. The women studied were clearly progressive in their opinions and the authors show that their original and varied opinions cast doubt on much of the standard literature about non-elite women's understanding of mainstream politics and the women's movement. These rural women differed significantly from the usual stereotypes of farm women as apolitical and conservative. Nor were they the reactionaries implied by theories of modernization. Instead, they were supportive of women's political activism, and of their equality and self-assertiveness, and were as feminist as other women in Canada and France. Political scientist Naomi Black and historian Gail Cuthbert Brandt worked collaboratively, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Their study is in large part based on a lengthy questionnaire administered by local interviewers in 1988-89 to almost 400 women living on family farms near Bordeaux and Montreal. They also include analyses of the women's organizations to which half of the subjects belonged, Cercles defermières in Quebec and Groupements de développement et de vulgarisation agricole féminins in France. Throughout the book the authors reflect, in language accessible to the general reader, upon the advantages and disadvantages of using conventional quantitative approaches to explore women's experience and opinions.