Natural Born Farmer. Rural childhood and farm work in eastern Poland

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Julia Harasimowicz

Abstract

The goal of the article is to analyze the attitude of parents towards their children’s work in one of the contemporary Podlasie voivodeship villages. Presenting the context of anthropological study of kinship allows to see that rural families, especially those who undertook farming, are subject to numerous cultural and economic influences, the most important of which is the problem of inheriting the farm. Despite the expectations of the parents, in recent years a falling number of children (sons) wish to remain in the countryside. Women, who participate less and less in the lives of the farms, are encouraged to get higher education. Based on ethnographic research conducted in the Sokoły commune in 2016-2017, the author looks at the current situation influencing the upbringing of children in rural families. She takes into account the changing emotional conditions of the family, specific treating of boys (between giving them free reign of choosing the profession and the expectation that they would stay on the farm), methods of arousing farming interest in children, and the contemporary attitude towards farming education. The result of the analysis is the description of the differences between the cultivated traditional family model and the upbringing, as well as the resultant incompatibility of masculine and feminine models. Additionally, contemporary rural parents increasingly often take the choices of their children seriously.

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