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Men Without Sawmills: Masculinity, Rural Poverty, And Family Stability

  • Sherman, Jennifer
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    Using ethnographic and interview data, this paper explores the impacts of economic strain and job loss on the construction and experience of masculinity, as well as the effects of threats to masculine identity on family stability in a rural American community. It looks at these issues specifically with reference to the high correlation between poverty and single parenting, in order to better understand the causal mechanisms responsible for this link in a rural setting. It challenges the mainstream argument that it is women’s marriage choices that are mainly responsible for this correlation. Building on and extending the work of previous researchers, the paper argues that men’s experiences with masculinity in times of economic and labor market stress seriously undermine their abilities to sustain functioning relationships.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/18905
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    Paper provided by Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC) in its series Working Papers with number 18905.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:osruwp:18905
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 200 Mumford Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211
    Web page: http://www.rprconline.org/index.htm
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    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel, 2000. "Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions," NBER Working Papers 7510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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