Widows in White: Migration and the Transformation of Rural Women, Sicily, 1880-1928

By Linda Reeder

© 2003

The transnational migrations of the early twentieth century had a profound impact on the lives of many people, but none more so than those who were left behind. In this lively interdisciplinary study, Linda Reeder examines the lives of rural Sicilian women and the changes that took place as a result of male migration to the United States.

Tracing the changing notions of female and male in rural Sicily, Reeder uses a wide variety of primary sources, including birth and death records, government records, novels, and newspapers, to explore the impact of industrialization on motherhood, family, wage-work, and female civic identity, and show how the processes of migration, globalization, and nation formation are deeply gendered. Grounded in empirical evidence, Reeder uses the methods and theories of social history, women's history, anthropology, and cultural studies in order to understand how migration altered women's identities. The choices these women made regarding family, work, schooling, and material wealth redefined the boundaries of community and nation, and helped them to claim a central place in the rapidly expanding global market.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP000678

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2003

    From: $34.46

    Regular Price: $45.95

    ISBN 9780802085252
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    Regular Price: $94.00

    ISBN 9780802037312
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2003

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    Regular Price: $108.00

Quick Overview

Tracing the changing notions of female and male in rural Sicily, Linda Reeder examines the lives of rural Sicilian women and the changes that took place as a result of male migration to the United States.

Widows in White: Migration and the Transformation of Rural Women, Sicily, 1880-1928

By Linda Reeder

© 2003

The transnational migrations of the early twentieth century had a profound impact on the lives of many people, but none more so than those who were left behind. In this lively interdisciplinary study, Linda Reeder examines the lives of rural Sicilian women and the changes that took place as a result of male migration to the United States.

Tracing the changing notions of female and male in rural Sicily, Reeder uses a wide variety of primary sources, including birth and death records, government records, novels, and newspapers, to explore the impact of industrialization on motherhood, family, wage-work, and female civic identity, and show how the processes of migration, globalization, and nation formation are deeply gendered. Grounded in empirical evidence, Reeder uses the methods and theories of social history, women's history, anthropology, and cultural studies in order to understand how migration altered women's identities. The choices these women made regarding family, work, schooling, and material wealth redefined the boundaries of community and nation, and helped them to claim a central place in the rapidly expanding global market.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    'The book offers a fresh analysis of the gendered impact of emigration upon traditional rural society and in so doing dismantles quite a few stereotypes and established interpretations.'


    Anna Bull, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath
  • Author Information

    Linda Reeder is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Missouri - Columbia.