Gendered Power on the Great Plains: Women's Work and Community Identity in the 1930s

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Fall 2016


Decades before the events of the Dust Bowl, gender roles on the Great Plains were established. A man’s place was in the field and a woman’s realm was the home. A good farm woman knew the role she was supposed to play and in many cases she performed her duties without complaint. She tended her garden, along with her dairy cows, chickens, and turkeys and though she made income from selling the fruit of her labors, her efforts were a sideline, not a vital income stream for the family.1 However, the combined disasters of the Great Depression and a prolonged drought, which caused the Dust Bowl, catapulted women’s work to the forefront. Though she was making money, sometimes the only money coming into the home, the farm woman did not have control over earnings.2


Jessica Brannon-Wranosky

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | History