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Collection Scope and Content Note


Biannual conversations with adults and children eight and older, individually and in family groups, in a panel of thirty-three New York and Iowa farm families concerning how the occupation of farming is organized and conducted. Topics include activities of family members and employees, daily and weekly, by season; aspirations, expectations, and responsibilities attributed to the self, other family members, and employees; obtaining and evaluating information; extent of involvement in decisions attributed to self, other family members, and employees; conflict between generations in the family and its resolution; reproducing the stem family; establishing and maintaining boundaries between in-laws and stem family, between family and outsiders, and between rural and urban culture; conflict between rural and urban culture; connections and barriers between production and family within occupation; means for evaluation in production and family sectors; mate selection; determining priorities; meaning of work, labor, tasks, chores, and recreation; task differentiation by gender; using and compensating hired and family labor; reserve labor; programs and forms of emotional and financial support; capital formation; credit; sources of income; marketing farm commodities; land use and conservation; record keeping; adoption and use of production and household technology; apprenticeship education; and values attached to consumption.

Other topics discussed are the form, timing, and quantity of rewards to family members and employees; distinction between ownership and control of farm resources; religious participation; farm maintenance; soil conservation; formal and informal training; dairy farming; poultry farming; apple production; 4-H clubs; farm organizations; U.S. agricultural colleges; the United States Department of Agriculture; Cooperative Extension; and related topics.

Also includes "The Game," with playing board, markers, cards, money, and rules, used in facilitating interviews, January, 1971; and files of Gould P. Colman including drafts of case studies, memos to project leaders, memos to farm family participants, planning exercises, checklists, and other papers, 1974-1982.

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