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Title:Defining the Boundaries: Family Farmers, Migrant Labor, Industrial Agriculture, and the State in the Rural Midwest, 1898--1938
Author(s):Mapes, Kathleen Anne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Barrett, James R.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, United States
Abstract:This dissertation explores the creation of the sugar beet industry in Michigan and the new relationships and conflicts it engendered. Rural Michigan offers an excellent place for analyzing how one part of the rural Midwest experienced many of the social and economics changes historians usually associate solely with urban industrial America. By focusing on industrialization, class relations, and ethnic diversity in a rural context, this dissertation questions the holy triptych of modernization that links urbanization, immigration, and industrialization together as the measurement of progress and relegates rural America to the status of traditional standard bearer. When we revisit the rural Midwest in the twentieth century, we find many signs that fail to conform to the modern/traditional dichotomy, including the expansion of modern industrial capitalism, the proliferation of class conflicts, the growing use of migrant workers in lieu of traditional farm labor, increasing ethnic diversity and hierarchy, and a burgeoning army of rural reformers and government officials. We find a world that was not being left behind but rather one that was being transformed.
Issue Date:2000
Description:411 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9990074
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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