The Important Things of Life: Women, Work, and Family in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, 1880-1929

The Important Things of Life: Women, Work, and Family in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, 1880-1929

by Dee Garceau
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Sweetwater County lies in southwestern Wyoming, and has stood as a significant symbolic geography for the "new Western Woman’s" history. As the county in which Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters of a Woman Homesteader, Nebraska 1990) said she proved up her homestead in 1913, it is a fitting locale for the study of western gender relations.

Overview

Sweetwater County lies in southwestern Wyoming, and has stood as a significant symbolic geography for the "new Western Woman’s" history. As the county in which Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters of a Woman Homesteader, Nebraska 1990) said she proved up her homestead in 1913, it is a fitting locale for the study of western gender relations.
 
The Important Things of Life examines women’s work and family lives in Sweetwater County in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The 1880’s discovery of coal caused a population boom, attracting immigrants from numerous ethnic groups. At the same time, liberalized homestead law drew sheep and cattle ranchers. Dee Garceau demonstrates how survival on the ranching and mining frontier heightened the value of group cooperation in ways that bred conservative attitudes toward gender.
 
Augmented by reminiscences and oral histories, Garceau traces the adaptations that broadened women’s work roles and increased their domestic authority. Hers is a compelling portrait of the American West as a laboratory of gender role change, in which migration, relocation, and new settlement underscored the development of new social identities.

Editorial Reviews

Elliott West
"An important contribution to the history of women and families in the West and . . . to the larger history of women in America and to the history of immigration."—Elliott West, author of Growing Up in America in the Twentieth Century: A History and Reference Guide
Karen R. Merrill
"A compelling portrait of the changing informal networks that women of many ethnicities and different class backgrounds used in town and on the range."—Karen R. Merrill, Princeton University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803243484
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
01/31/2013
Series:
Women in the West Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Dee Garceau is an assistant professor of history at Rhodes College in Memphis Tennessee.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >