The Clements Center for
Boys and Cattle Men:
Historians have often documented efforts of ranchers to control their workers economically, but the attempt to control ranch hands also reflected a gender hierarchy. Cowboys and cattlemen had differing, and ultimately competing, ideas of masculine behavior. While the rest of the country may have viewed cowboys as the ideal masculine image, early cattlemen treated their employees with paternalistic concern. Their “boys” were just that, in a stage of arrested development, less educated and in need of a firm hand to mold them into men. While they respected the cowboys’ abilities, they nonetheless believed they needed restraint.
of History at Austin College. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. History from the
University of Maryland in 1994. She will spend the 2007-08 academic year at the
Clements Center for Southwest Studies as a Summerlee Foundation Research Fellow
for the Study of Texas History completing her manuscript, “Cow Boys and Cattle
Men: Nineteenth Century Masculinity and Class on the Texas Frontier," for
publication by New York University Press.
for Southwest Studies
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