Rural Reconstruction: Towards a New Synthesis in Canadian History
AbstractRecent works in the field of rural history are offering a critical challenge to the historiography of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canada. The first part of this article draws on a variety of rural studies to outline some problems that arise in the growing discord between recent literature on rural Canada and traditional Canadian historiography. These anomalies are linked to an historical discourse that trivializes and obscures what is arguably the most important institution of rural society: the household. Finally, the author reviews some recent rural studies that explicitly search for ways to give the pre- and post-industrial rural household a conceptual depth that it lacks within the constraints of neoclassical and Marxist 'evolutionist' constructions of the political economy.