Prairie Patrimony: Family, Farming, and Community in the Midwest


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Families cannot farm without land, and whoever controls land holds power over others in the farm family and the rural community. Yet in every lifetime, control of this scarce resource must be given up to the next generation. Drawing on her decade-long ethnographic studies of seven Illinois farming communities, Sonya Salamon demonstrates how family land transfers serve as the mechanism for recreating the social relations fundamental to Midwestern ethnic identities. With family land is passed a cultural patrimony that shapes ...