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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Linda L. Baer


Research on rural women, women in manufacturing employment, and the consequences of unemployment, is scarce. No similar situations of rural women in manufacturing employment were encountered in the literature review. Rural studies have focused on the "long run trend toward the displacement of people from agriculture" to nonfarm employment. Much of the concern related to displacement has to do with the lack 6f education, training and experience of those seeking nonfarm paid jobs, many of whom are women. This community presented a unique opportunity to examine rural women in manufacturing employment who were facing unemployment in an area of limited job opportunities, their attitudes about work, family and self, and their situation relative to their perceptions of women in general. The findings will add to the knowledge of women and work, and the differences, if any, between rural and urban portraits of working women. The general objectives of the study are: (1) To explore rural women's attitudes about work, family, and self. (2) To add to the existing information on women, work, and family; to use this information to continue research on rural women and compare results with women's studies generally. To achieve these general objectives, the specific objectives are: (1) To explore, through the women in this case study, rural women's reasons for working in paid positions. (2) To discover rural women's expectations about paid employment and whether their current job meets those expectations. (3) To examine rural women's perceptions of work and employment opportunities universally and compare it with their attitudes about their own situation. (4) To find out rural women's perceptions about their home life, and satisfaction with same. (5) To compare rural women's attitudes about their home life with existing studies of working women, including the effect of children on home life, attitudes and satisfaction. (6) To compare key findings with existing studies concerning women and work.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women -- Employment

Job satisfaction

Rural women -- Employment -- Attitudes

Plant shutdowns -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University