This dissertation is accessible only to the Illinois State University community.

  • Off-Campus ISU Users: To download this item, click the "Off-Campus Download" button below. You will be prompted to log in with your ISU ULID and password.
  • Non-ISU Users: Contact your library to request this item through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology

First Advisor

Joan Brehm


The purpose of this research is to analyze the relationship between gender, “rurality,” and several measures of economic and work-related variables among farm operators in Midwestern counties. Despite changes in American agricultural practices that have help support shifts towards maximized production on corporate farms, family farms are still vital sources of substantial contributions to the overall agricultural production in the United States. Historically, women held a strong role in agricultural production, but today are considered by many to just be “farm-wives.” The role of women in agriculture is not well-known or regularly studied among social scientists, leaving a gap in our understanding of rural demography. The primary method of this research is secondary data analysis using the 2012 United States Censuses of Agriculture. Variables such as “net cash income” and “hired farm labor”, as well as the Rural-Urban Continuum Codes were utilized in a series of linear regressions that suggest that the gender of the operator, not the “rurality” of the operation, is consistently a stronger predictor of some key indicators of success among Midwest farm operators. This might imply an overall decreasing importance of rurality in overall agricultural production.


Imported from ProQuest Parmely_ilstu_0092N_11521.pdf


Page Count


Off-Campus Download