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Death and dispossession haunt the American family farm.

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We're talking about a loss of the sense of futurity - a sense of the future being available to you and to people like you. It's that sense that there is no future, compounded with a sense of failure, and a sense that your values and what you've worked for are not respected that leads to a feeling of 'I'm going to be better off dead.'

Anthropologist Kathryn M. Dudley explores the massive economic crisis hitting small farms across America - as food prices become political tools, profits sink and family farms are swallowed by banks and corporate agri-business, rural American surrenders to a slow decline of poverty, powerlessness and suicide.

Kathryn wrote the article Traumas of Dispossesion for Jacobin.

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Kathryn M. Dudley

Kathryn M. Dudley is a professor of anthropology and American studies at Yale University.

 

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