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Stephen Gross


This paper examines gendered differences in how Minnesotan farmers attempted to maintain control over their lives during the 1980s farm crisis. Although left-wing activism, rightwing activism, religion, and suicide may seem like disparate responses, they all came from the same impulse to maintain control. These responses were highly influenced by community values, particularly the ideas that hard work would be rewarded and men should not show their emotions. Religion offered a sense of community and solace to farmers; activism – although a relatively rare response – offered solutions; and suicide offered an escape. Women found more comfort in religion than men, and men successfully attempted suicide at much higher rates than women.

Farm Crisis Presentation.pdf (303 kB)
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