Women of the Range: Women's Roles in the Texas Beef Cattle Industry / Edition 1

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Overview

Women may not fit the common image of a rancher, but on the range and in the ranch office women are at home. With their parents, children, or spouses - or alone - women own, manage, and do the daily work of ranching, as they have since pioneer days. Increasingly, they also fill the productive roles of the highly technological industry growing up around beef cattle. Women of the Range describes the roles of women in the Texas cattle industry of the past, the present, and the likely future. Based on a decade of interviews, observation, and data analysis, Elizabeth Maret, a sociologist and rancher, tells the story of the women who serve as an often unpaid labor force in this classic American enterprise. Through profiles of typical (and some atypical) women, with photographs she took of them at work, Maret shows how women serve not only as "keepers of the land," but also as a force for modernization in the cattle industry. The women she shows include a cattle fitter, sale barn manager, and herd health veterinarian. They are owners and managers of historic family ranches. They write computer software for planning optimal crossbreeding operations, they run equipment in artificial insemination companies, and they encourage industry emphasis on nutrition and consumer interests. Women have always been there, Maret shows, participating in ranching and the cattle industry as silent but active partners. Maret's portrait of their involvement and analysis of its significance will fascinate readers with an interest in ranching, social history, women's studies, and the sociology of work.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This bone-dry history provides information but little inspiration with lists of the tasks performed on ranches, as well as biographical sketches. Maret, a sociologist and rancher, brings up but rarely probes enticing and sound theories about the importance of women's roles in ranching--such as that women working on ranches have been undercounted because they are often family members rather than employees. Only occasionally do the personalities of the female ranchers profiled break through. When they do, it is in the description of specific incidents, like the time a longhorned cow pinned Angela Bonifazi, who freed herself and commanded her granddaughter to ``go get her a Band-Aid'' for a five-inch wound. The women in ranch-related business include Cindy Warnke Walls, the owner of a ``fitting'' service that grooms show cattle; Becky Everette, who evaluates bull semen; and Heddy Butler, who has innovated the use of computer technology in cattle breeding. But Maret has a knack for making these interesting women seem unremarkable. She quotes Butler spouting the obvious, ``The computer is tough. View it as a tool. . . .'' Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Booknews
Rancher, cattle breeder, and sociologist (Texas A&M U.) Maret illuminates the historical and contemporary role of women in raising Texas beef. She notes that their important contribution has been obscured by literature focusing on men, by urban myths about men's work and women's work, and by official statistics that list only owners and hired hands as workers. Paper edition (unseen), $12.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780890965412
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Maret is an associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M University, a rancher, and a certified artificial insemination technician. She earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and publications have focused on women in the labor force.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
Introduction
1 Women and Ranching: Past, Present, and Future 3
2 Ranching Women of the Past: A Historic Industry, 1800-1950 21
3 A Continuing Legacy: Ranching Women, 1950-80 36
4 A Changing Industry: Ranching Women, 1980-90 62
5 Ranching Women of the Future: Roles in the 1990s and Beyond 97
App. A. Tables 119
App. B. Data Collection 127
Notes 130
References 136
Index 146
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