A-9/15 Farm, family, and myself: farm women dealing with family break-up

Despite the rising divorce rate among farm families in Norway, surprisingly little research has examined these break-ups. Drawing on interviews with farm women whose marital or cohabiting relationships broke down, we explore the contradictions between individualization and the moral responsibility embedded in the patriarchal discourse of the family farm. We ask whether farm family dissolution represents a break with patriarchal ideology and practice, and thus threatens the survival of the family farm. A key finding is the struggle to balance establishing new lives for themselves with meeting their felt obligations to the farm. None of the women exercised their full legal rights if they worried that it might destroy the farm business. By ensuring the survival of the farm and the well-being of their children, the women's handling of divorce conforms to cultural conventions and protects the family farm. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, vol. 22 (1) 37-49

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