Gender, class and rurality: Australian case studies
The interrelationship between gender and class in rural spaces has received little attention. While rural scholars have focused on the implications for class from processes of gentrification and agricultural and rural restructuring, these analyses have remained largely ungendered. Similarly, feminist rural studies have rarely explored subjectivity as gendered and classed. This paper contributes to rural theories of class and gender by drawing on the work of contemporary feminist class theorists to explore class as gendered and inscribed through personal memory, community narrative and through everyday values and interactions associated with work, leisure and family. To explore intersections of gender, class and rurality, the article draws on data from interviews from two separate Australian studies of farming families. Narratives highlighted the ambiguity of class, the gendered and classed nature of voluntary organisations in rural spaces, and moral values and signifiers associated with what it is to be a 'good' farmer and a 'good' community member. The data indicate how values of moral worth are gendered and classed and inscribed on farming women and men. This qualitative examination of gender and class in rural spaces draws attention to class as being more than a ranking on an occupational scale, property ownership or degrees of engagement in consumption. Rather, it reveals class as emotionally inscribed in ways that are gendered, economic and moral, and represented through symbolic signifiers and cultural narratives.
Journal of Rural Studies
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified