in Ethnologia Europaea
Liv Emma Thorsen University of Oslo

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Reprinted from Ethnologia Europaea 16:2, 1986 During the last hundred years, the original low technology agriculture of rural Norway has developed into highly specialized commercial farming. This transformation has been vividly discussed both by historians and ethnologists. A main theme in the debate has been as to which degree new technology and integration of agriculture in market economy have brought about a dissolution of the traditional peasant culture. In the present study of women’s work on farms in Central Norway, it is argued that although the material structures of the farms have been subject to important transformations, essential structures such as the sexual division of labour and the ideas constituting the peasant ideal of femininity, hardly changed before the 1960s.

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