Feminist theory and rural geography
This chapter argues that a real understanding of gender difference must incorporate explanation of the underlying causes of that difference and that this, in turn, can only be achieved through the examination of gender relations. It situates feminist rural geography within the development of gender studies in geography as a whole. The chapter discusses the early articulation of gender roles by feminist geographers and the battle for inclusion in mainstream debates within the discipline. It explains the shift from description to explanation and from women to gender as emphasis was placed on power relations between men and women in the examination of gender difference and inequality. The chapter outlines these developments in general and then goes on to look specifically at how they impacted on rural geography. It shows how those engaged in rural research responded to the various ideas and debates emerging from feminist geography, noting the particular difficulties and excitements that a rural focus entailed.