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History-in-person: the cultural production of populism among Kentucky's small-scale family farmers

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How does an ideology such as populism persist and shift across generations? How do people come to embody such an ideology? This article focuses on a grassroots community association to illustrate how enduring ideologies are culturally produced and transformed. Drawing on oral history interviews and field research with an organization of Kentucky small-scale family farmers, and drawing on Holland and Lave's (2001) concept of history-in-person, I argue that enduring ideologies and attendant identities persist and shift through contentious confluences of individual biographies, citizen's groups, and societal institutions. I contend that the history-in-person approach informed by experience-near data offers an insider's view useful to explaining how durable and contentious ideologies and identities persist and change over time.
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Keywords: (small-scale) family farmers; Kentucky; identity; ideology; populism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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