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Stephanie McCurry's MAsters of Small Worlds - Book Report/Review Example

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Stephanie McCurry's MAsters of Small Worlds

McCurry's thesis is well argued and some of her sources are well researched as well. But not all of McCurry's arguments are convincing. In fact, in most cases McCurry provided very little pertinent evidence for her arguments. The concepts of political and social unity however have been presented with some well examined evidence such that they seem more plausible than McCurry's other arguments which are not only based on insufficient data but are argued such that the concepts themselves are open to several interpretations. McCurry bases most of her arguments concerning the yeoman society on the Low Country's geographical factors. However, one finds that McCurry, in her aim to explore the principles of the culture and structure of the yeoman society has attempted to broaden the geographical precincts of the low country. Perhaps McCurry felt compelled to do so in order to present pertinent data for her arguments. It might be that McCurry did not find enough data to back up her thesis and arguments. Extending the geographical area of the low country (to cover certain areas believed to be in the "Middle Country") might have given McCurry the possibility to explore more evidence from those areas, thereby making her thesis a tad richer with weightier data. The extending of geographical boundaries also gave McCurry the opportunity of exploring the similarities and connections of the working relationships between wealthy slave owning families and the farming families with no slaves. The ideal example to justify the hypothesis that the extending of the low country topography gave McCurry more data to work with is the instance when McCurry used the personal diary of a woman (believed to be from the middle country) to portray the typical characteristics of a traditional evangelical yeoman woman. This explains the reason behind why perhaps McCurry felt obliged to make use of data from other sources.

Evaluation of shortcomings in McCurry's analysis:
The concept of gender has been extensively researched by McCurry in her thesis. Her approach in explaining the concept of gender can be considered novel if albeit challenging. However, McCurry seems so absorbed in exploring the significance of the role of gender in the yeoman society that she fails to acknowledge the interconnecting aspects of the notions of racism and slavery in connection to gender. McCurry's extent of acknowledgement of slavery was her statement affirming that racism was "not entirely absent from low country pro-slavery discourses". McCurry also kind of intimidated that the role of slaves in the yeoman agricultural scenario was not very significant. She supported this argument with the hypothesis that since the yeoman had assistance in the form of his family, any aid provided by the slaves was not of much importance. In fact, McCurry opines that gender and not slavery or racism was the foundation upon which the patriarchal and hierarchy oriented yeoman society of the low country thrived upon. However, the data provided by McCurry is generally from a wider milieu and is thus open to various interpretations and discussions. Since there are very few other people who can ascertain a link between ...Show more


The book "Masters of Small World" tries to portray the socio-cultural and political background the South Carolina Low Country; the focus of the study in the book being the yeoman society. When trying to represent the yeoman society, Stephanie McCurry also thought it pertinent to expose the nature of the relationship shared by the yeoman and the planters of the South…
Author : fabernathy
Stephanie McCurrys MAsters of Small Worlds essay example
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