Cultivating Mutuality: Home Demonstration Clubs in the 1930s Oklahoma Panhandle


Steven K. Kite (University of Arkansas Fort Smith) and Shelly Lemons (McKendree University)

In the 1930s, women in the Oklahoma panhandle experienced life on the periphery. Isolated on the vast expanse of the Oklahoma plains, their physical location mirrored their gendered position in the social hierarchical order. US Agricultural Department Cooperative Extension Agency's Home Demonstration Clubs helped empower rural women, providing them with skills and support to improve their lives. Through the Home Demonstration Clubs, women gained confidence and honed leadership abilities that recentered them into positions of mutuality or co-ownership of their situations rather than an existence on the periphery as mere assistant or helpers to their male counterparts.

Part of 32-06 Cultivating Identity with Recentered Seeds, Wednesday, October 20, 11:15 am–12:45 pm