Gaining Ground: An Exploration into the Lives of Missouri's Lesbian Farmers
Formerly “invisible,” lesbian farmers have received increased attention recently, within both sociological scholarship and the popular media. Despite this attention, preconceptions about their lives persist. Assumptions of gay culture existing exclusively in metropolitan areas and of rural culture remaining organized by blood linkage and land ownership, combined with the continued predominance of men in agriculture, make this evolving realm of inquiry relevant to social scientists, agriculturalists, and extension professionals. In light of these intersections of identities and assumptions, and the remaining gaps in scholarship concerning this population, I conducted a case study, which was situated within a framework of ecogender studies. As such, the research focused on gendered relationships with nature and the emancipatory potential of women reclaiming their connections to nature through agriculture. The experiences of this population provide transferable lessons about humans as food system participants and present opportunities for rural development through sustainable agriculture.
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