As the economic contexts of farming change, occupational supports for the maintenance of traditional rural masculinities diminish. When these past identities remain salient, identity discontinuity can occur and alternative mechanisms of support may be sought. Nostalgic remembrances may serve to reduce such discontinuity. The current inquiry explores antique tractor collecting as a means of restoring traditional rural masculinities. Data were collected through observations at antique tractor shows, interviews with collectors, and examination of the contents of collecting-related periodicals and other publications. Data reveal three unique ways in which tractor collecting allows for more full re-enactment of past masculinities. Symbolically anthropomorphizing these tractors with unique identities, in turn, allows for the symbolic reliving of work experiences by restoring and utilizing the tractors. Finally, shows recreate a supportive community for these masculinities. Implications for antique tractor collecting as a mechanism of support for traditional rural masculinities are discussed.
Nusbaumer, Michael. 2011. "Rural Masculinity and Antique Tractors: Reliving the Men in the Machines." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(2): Article 5. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol26/iss2/5