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The Ohio State University

1. Smeraldo, Kaitlyn N. (Re)Constructing Gender: White, Working-Class Women and Trauma.

Degree: MA, Sociology, 2019, The Ohio State University

In rural, working-class areas, men’s labor market participation has historically determined gender relations, casting women as traditional wives and mothers. As labor market opportunities have worsened for working-class men, family patterns have shifted and this traditional pathway to gendered identities has been altered. The coal region of Central Pennsylvania is a heavily deindustrialized and poverty-stricken area that has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic and bears little resemblance to the booming destination it once was. Using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 37 white women in the coal region of Pennsylvania, this article explores how women (re)construct a gendered identity when the traditional ways of performing gender are unavailable. Trauma emerges as a mechanism for defining their lives and who they are as women. Three major narratives are revealed: self-empowerment, ignoring trauma, and persistent suffering. These themes indicate that women have different coping strategies for similar kinds of trauma, and these strategies can be either productive, allowing women to maintain work and/or healthy relationships, or unproductive, precluding women from maintaining work or healthy relationships. Women in all narrative types reconstruct strength as a trait of women and maintain compassion as an important aspect of the gendered identity. Advisors/Committee Members: Reczek, Corinne (Advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Sociology; trauma; gender; rural; working-class; narrative

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Smeraldo, K. N. (2019). (Re)Constructing Gender: White, Working-Class Women and Trauma. (Masters Thesis). The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1553336041577677

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Smeraldo, Kaitlyn N. “(Re)Constructing Gender: White, Working-Class Women and Trauma.” 2019. Masters Thesis, The Ohio State University. Accessed September 21, 2019. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1553336041577677.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Smeraldo, Kaitlyn N. “(Re)Constructing Gender: White, Working-Class Women and Trauma.” 2019. Web. 21 Sep 2019.

Vancouver:

Smeraldo KN. (Re)Constructing Gender: White, Working-Class Women and Trauma. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. The Ohio State University; 2019. [cited 2019 Sep 21]. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1553336041577677.

Council of Science Editors:

Smeraldo KN. (Re)Constructing Gender: White, Working-Class Women and Trauma. [Masters Thesis]. The Ohio State University; 2019. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1553336041577677

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