Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hagerman, Margaret Ann

Committee Member

Thompson, Diego

Committee Member

Green, John

Committee Member

Rader, Nicole E.

Committee Member

Leap, Braden T.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


This ethnography of white farmers and industry workers considers the interconnections of privilege and property through farming and how white farmers and industry workers justify and explain existing disparities in who farms and who does not. Data for this ethnography is from semi-structured interviews with white farmers and industry workers, participant observation at agricultural events, and analysis of relevant materials published by agricultural organizations. The stories that white farmers and industry workers tell and share to explain white rural wealth related to agriculture and whiteness in farming ignore the ways in which property was and is distributed in the U.S. from the arrival of the first white Europeans until now and instead rely on individually centered explanations rooted in the ideology of the American Dream and colorblind racial ideology.

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