Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Nassaney

Second Advisor

Dr. Ann Miles

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Schmitt

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The gardens, houses, and barns that comprise the cultural landscape embody information about their makers. Because the built environment is not static, it actively serves to create, reproduce, and transform relations of class and gender. Members of society use space to reinforce and resist relations of power, authority, and inequality. For example, the organization of the landscape facilitates the activities and movements of some segments of society, while at the same time it constrains others. Material dimensions of form and space are differentially acknowledged by members of society because individuals occupy multiple roles simultaneously. Material responses to the social world take various forms expressed in changing cultural landscapes. Historical investigations indicate that the village, region, and nation have experienced considerable changes since the mid-nineteenth century. Archaeological investigations provide evidence that, despite the transformation of American society at these multiple levels, there has been considerable continuity in class and gender relations at a residential homelot in Plainwell, Michigan.