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Dairy farm women in the Waikato 1946-1996: fifty years of social and structural change

Research on dairy farm women in New Zealand is minimal. Women have long worked on dairy farms but their contribution remains largely invisible in the literature and documentation. Researchers have failed to duly record the changes and their implications affecting dairy farm women. This thesis examines the important position held by dairy farm women and the nature of the changes that have taken place in the Waikato Region 1946-1996. I investigate changes, including the household and farm strategies which have been brought about by technical, social, economic and political procedures experienced by dairy farm women over a 50 year period. Structuration and feminist geographic theory provide a framework for the analysis. Methods employed to collect data included telephone conversations and a postal questionnaire. I examine the nature of farm family labour and analyse notions of work, in order to challenge the hegemony of male dominance prominent in dairy farming, and in agriculture more generally. An assessment from the field work indicates the dairy farm ‘community’ is conservative. Any change as to the recognition and acknowledgement of the contribution that dairy farm women make towards the farm enterprise and the economy of the country, is slow in coming. This study was not planned to be exhaustive and offers suggestions for further studies in the geography of dairy farming.
Type of thesis
Begg, M. M. (2001). Dairy farm women in the Waikato 1946-1996: fifty years of social and structural change (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14350
The University of Waikato
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