By Glen H. Elder, Rand D. Conger
A century in the past, so much americans had ties to the land. Now just one in fifty is engaged in farming and little greater than a fourth stay in rural groups. notwithstanding now not new, this exodus from the land represents one of many nice social events of our age and can be symptomatic of an unheard of transformation of our society.
In Children of the Land, the authors ask even if conventional observations approximately farm families—strong intergenerational ties, effective roles for adolescence in paintings and social management, devoted mom and dad and a community of optimistic engagement in church, college, and neighborhood life—apply to 3 hundred Iowa childrens who've grown up with a few tie to the land. the reply, as this learn exhibits, is a powerful certain. even with the hardships they confronted in the course of the agricultural drawback of the Eighties, those teenagers, whose lives we keep on with from the 7th grade to after highschool commencement, proved to be remarkably profitable, either academically and socially.
A relocating testomony to the particularly confident way of life of Iowa households with connections to the land, this uplifting booklet additionally indicates very important routes to luck for teens in different excessive threat settings.
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Additional resources for Children of the Land: Adversity and Success in Rural America
Most of the mothers were employed in a paid job, even among families on a farm. With few exceptions, the grandparents grew up on farms in the Midwest and actually farmed at some point in their lives. Over half of the grandfathers were still engaged in farming at the end of the 1980s. The older grandfathers, in particular, experienced hard times as children and adults, during the 1920s and 1930s, but they also enjoyed a lengthy period of prosperity following World War II. These men typically launched their farming careers in the 1940s and 1950s, a time when land values were low and prices were high and relatively stable.
Human development requires substantial human capital at the nodes and social capital in the links. Singleparent households and discordant marriages thus represent a loss of social capital for the development of children. By contrast, the joint activity pattern so characteristic of farm family life ensures greater social capital, as do the multiple connections between farm families and community institutions, church, school, and civic organizations, such as Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H clubs.
Last, as a study of the legacy of an agricultural crisis, the project made every effort to maximize the number of farm families in the total sample. occupation. When considered as a whole, these specifications meant that sample recruitment would require a large area, though not so large that the costs of data collection would be exorbitant. Our videotaping of family life made data collection labor-intensive and placed a premium on minimizing the travel time to families. We ended up with 451 families and children scattered across more than thirty school districts, all within an eight-county region in north central Iowa, where the farmland ranks among the best in Iowa.