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Go West for a Wife: Family Farming in West Central Scotland 1850-1930

McGuire, Dorothy Ellen (2012) Go West for a Wife: Family Farming in West Central Scotland 1850-1930. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The historical geography of farming in the West Central Region of Scotland has been under-researched. Generalisations based on research relating to other parts of the country are misleading because the development and forms of agriculture in the West Central Region were distinctive. Traditionally this is an area of dairy farming which, during the research period (c.1850-1930) was characterised by small family labour farms. The concentration of small farms, on which the faming family and a few hired workers formed the core labour-force, and where the distinctions between employer and employed were less than on the large arable farms of the East, had consequences for rural social structure, mitigating the effects of capitalism. Through a small set of family labour farms, and the families associated with them, the thesis takes a grassroots approach to exploring the pattern of life on the farms of the Region, with particular regard to gender relations. The survival of such farms, contrary to Marxist expectations is investigated, along with the resilience of the farms during the period of ‘The Great Agricultural Depression.’ Glasgow, the economic capital of the Region, underwent phenomenal growth during the nineteenth century, and had a massive impact upon local agriculture. Glasgow and its satellite towns were a market for agricultural produce, and a source of imported livestock feed, and fertilisers. The fashions, in the town, for consumer goods and non-traditional foodstuffs spread out to the surrounding Region, and interaction between town and country was facilitated by the development of the railways. The significance of farm location in relation to Glasgow is assessed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: social history, historical geography, rural life, Glasgow, agriculture, family farming, Scotland, dairy, gender relations, nineteenth century, twentieth century, industrialisation.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Philo, Prof. Christopher and Briggs, Prof. John
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Mrs D.E. McGuire
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3302
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2012
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2014 08:32
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3302

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