Wilma Dunaway breaks new ground to examine the race, class, and ethnic differences among antebellum Southern Appalachian women. Most women defied separate spheres of gender conventions to undertake agricultural and non-agricultural labors that were essential to family survival or community well-being. Unlike elite and middle-class females, Cherokee, black, and poor white women engaged in stigmatized labors and worked alongside males in cross-racial settings. To support their work portfolios, non-white and most poor white women constructed non-patriarchal families that challenged cultural ideals of motherhood. Churches and courts inequitably regulated the sexual behaviors of these women and treated their households as aberrations that were not entitled to the legal privilege of family sanctity. Legal and religious officials sanctioned family break-ups and the removal, indenturement, or enslavement of their children. Still, many women resisted patriarchal conventions through their work lives, family roles, and group activism.
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(234mm x 156mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Wilma A. Dunaway
Wilma A. Dunaway was born into an interracial family in east Tennessee in 1944. For more than two decades, she worked in civil rights and public services organizations in the Appalachian region. At present, she is an Associate Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dunaway is a specialist in international slavery studies, Native American studies, Appalachian studies, and world-system analysis. Her dissertation about the incorporation of Southern Appalachia into the capitalist world economy was awarded a Wilson Fellowship and the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association. She has won several awards for her previous three works on Appalachia and slavery, including two Weatherford Awards. Her interdisciplinary work has appeared in numerous history and social science journals.