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Title:Nevada Ranch Women: A Study in the Management of Isolation (Stress, Coping, Rural)
Author(s):Sprague, Carolyn Anne
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:This dissertation examines problems and satisfactions of living among women living on cattle ranches in central Nevada. The study has two aspects. First, it is an ethnography of women's roles, values and important social, economic and cultural institutions surrounding women in ranching. Women's perceptions and involvement are further brought out in biographical sketches of seven women. Secondly, it is an investigation of physical isolation as a distinctive problem of living for women in this region. Physical isolation is measured and related to spatial patterns of social interaction and to the subjective experiencing of isolation. Study is based upon research done in 1978-79 of 25 women of varying ages, backgrounds, and ranch occupational statuses. An expanded key informant approach is used, involving participant observation, open-ended interviews and archival research. Statistical procedures are used to examine relationships between physical, social and subjective isolation. Findings reveal that interactions of a more instrumental nature are most constrained by physical distance, as are, to a lesser extent, local social and friendship ties. Yet, physical isolation alone is a poor predictor of perceived or felt isolation. The effects of physical isolation vary, in direct relationship to the individual's general competency in managing general problems of living. This competency, in turn, derives from (a) the individual's ability to access and utilize economic, social and cultural resources for solving problems; and (b) the individual's opportunity for personal gratification and value expression. In general, women who have limited resources and/or limited opportunity for value expression are more apt to view physical isolation as a major lifeway problem. Ranch socioeconomic status is found to be a core factor for mediating the effects of physical isolation, with women of lowest ranch occupational status at highest risk.
Issue Date:1984
Description:313 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8422161
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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