Review of: Taking Stands: Gender and the Sustainability of Rural Communities
Society and Natural Resources
Taylor & Francis
In this study of a northern Vancouver island, Maureen Reed examines forestry issues from the perspective of women who live in forest communities. Her main purpose for doing so, she argues, is that we know little about women who support the timber industry. Reed suggests that ignoring these women’s voices has resulted in continued stereotypes and marginalization of rural women and their lives, either viewing these women as "unworthy, irrelevant, or regressive actors in environmental debates," or finding them "classified as victims of an exploitative system who are unable to overcome the contradictions in their lives" (4). Various groups have contributed to the omission of these women’s voices, Reed argues, including planners, researchers, the environmental movement, and rural residents themselves. Her main source of data is in-depth interviews conducted with 50 women from the forest communities. At first her reliance on 50 interviews from a population total of 15,441 seems a bit minimal. She supplements these interviews with data from focus groups consisting of 13 individuals. In addition, Reed does a good job of showing the representativeness of her sample to the larger population. She also provides a very informative, well-written appendix that provides reflection on her methodology, which she terms ‘‘inductive applied research.’’ Reed provides a rich description of logging communities and what life is like for women in them. In this review I focus my comments on what I found of most interest.
Peggy Petrzelka. 2004. Taking Stands: Gender and the Sustainability of Rural Communities by Maureen G. Reed (Vancouver: UBC Press), Society and Natural Resources 17(9):855-857.