Mark W. Hoock

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. LouAnn Wurst

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynne Heasley

Third Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Scholars have engaged in discussions of when and where capitalism emerged in agrarian America. These discussions have led to categorizations that placed some farms outside the discussion of capitalist interrelationships. This separation homogenized many 19th and early 20th century farms on the Hector Backbone in Schuyler County New York into a “non-capitalist” category. This thesis aims to illuminate the real lived conditions of a sample of these farmers through a Marxist dialectical perspective. Archeological analysis of production strategies, through a Marxist framework allows for a better understanding of the differences between individual marginalized farms. Since analysis of a single farm only explicates the behaviors on that specific farm, the analysis of multiple farms within this context will bring to light the varied production strategies engaged on the variety of farms. Furthermore, a comparison of these marginalized to other farms from this immediate area, though located off the Backbone and not marginalized, will provide a larger understanding of the real differences between the two ‘groups” and help mitigate the categorization of one “group” simplistically and perhaps unfairly.