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Title: Towards an archaeology of belonging : corporate agriculture in the San Emigdio Hills, California and the transformation of the modern American West
Author: Shier, Melonie Renee
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 637X
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2016
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How do people conceptualize a new landscape, is a study of research in archaeology with a long tradition. This paper proposes to approach the study of landscape through Belonging. With no prior theorization in archaeology, Belonging is developed through a multidisciplinary perspective to understand how people form attachments to landscapes. Belonging is then applied to the landscape of the San Emigdio Hills in south central California. This thesis both proposes four themes of Belonging: identity, emotional ties, instrumental ties, and performativity, and applies these themes to a rural case study. The post-colonial landscape provides an ideal data set, as issues of identity and Belonging are inherent, and are further magnified by the ever changing demographics of the rural landscape. The San Emigdio Hills in the modern period was inhabited by both homesteading families who lived in dual-gendered households and corporate households of the Kern County Land Company. Some corporate households are also nested dual-gendered households living in paternalistic situations, and are commonly linked to positions of power in the corporate structure. Tensions of the similarities and differences between dual-gendered and corporate households allows for the study of Belonging to occur. Households were both affected by the past landscapes they inhabited (emotional ties), particularly through chain migration from international and internal sources of similar ethnic backgrounds, such as Basque or Midwestern. Different ethnic groups expressed their Belonging in different ways. Both are affected in their instrumental ties by domestication of the landscape through Victorian notions of the domesticity / bread winner model, with the corporate households further affected by capitalism and corporate structure. The primary labour sector for the San Emigdio Hills is agricultural, particularly cattle husbandry performed by vaqueros. Finally, the aspects of performavity rooted in the work of Fortier and Butler, are applied to show how the two households utilized fences to express outward notions of gentility. Ultimately, three forms of Belonging are proposed, consisting of instrumental, imagined and bridge attachments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology