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The Battle over Female (In)Dependence: Women in New England Quebecois Migrant Communities, 1870-1930

The Battle over Female (In)Dependence: Women in New England Quebecois Migrant Communities, 1870-1930 12-N3494 7/12/05 6:27 AM Page 158 The Battle over Female (In)Dependence Women in New England Quebecois Migrant Communities, 1870 – 1930 florencemae waldron Understandings of gender perform important ideological work in a given so- ciety. Individuals find it useful to promote, adhere to, or challenge the ideas about gender prevalent in their surrounding environments — ideas which themselves are contested and constantly reconstructed — at different points in their lives. In turn, these ideologies serve to organize, justify, and normalize social interactions, legal and economic relationships, and community institu- tions. In this context, even as gender ideologies appear cohesive and imper- meable, their apparent hegemony masks their underlying instability and con- testation. When a certain set of gender ideals retains its prominence, despite changes in the circumstances that gave rise to these understandings, it is worth asking what purpose perpetuating and defending these ideals serves for the in- dividuals who work so diligently to uphold them. These questions are partic- ularly useful in shedding light on the ways in which the process of negotiating and adapting to life in a new cultural environment is inherently gendered. By examining the gendered dynamics of migration and acculturation, we can bet- ter http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

The Battle over Female (In)Dependence: Women in New England Quebecois Migrant Communities, 1870-1930

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

12-N3494 7/12/05 6:27 AM Page 158 The Battle over Female (In)Dependence Women in New England Quebecois Migrant Communities, 1870 – 1930 florencemae waldron Understandings of gender perform important ideological work in a given so- ciety. Individuals find it useful to promote, adhere to, or challenge the ideas about gender prevalent in their surrounding environments — ideas which themselves are contested and constantly reconstructed — at different points in their lives. In turn, these ideologies serve to organize, justify, and normalize social interactions, legal and economic relationships, and community institu- tions. In this context, even as gender ideologies appear cohesive and imper- meable, their apparent hegemony masks their underlying instability and con- testation. When a certain set of gender ideals retains its prominence, despite changes in the circumstances that gave rise to these understandings, it is worth asking what purpose perpetuating and defending these ideals serves for the in- dividuals who work so diligently to uphold them. These questions are partic- ularly useful in shedding light on the ways in which the process of negotiating and adapting to life in a new cultural environment is inherently gendered. By examining the gendered dynamics of migration and acculturation, we can bet- ter

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Aug 23, 2005

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