The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Daughters of the Mountain

Daughters of the Mountain

Women Coal Miners in Central Appalachia Suzanne E. Tallichet
  • Copyright: 2006
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 216 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-02903-0
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-02904-7
  • Series Name: Rural Studies
“This new book contains a wealth of information about work experiences and work relations of several women who entered coal mining as an occupation.”
“Her writing is elegant and compassionate. . . . Tallichet’s study will be a valuable addition to the literature exploring the nature of our socially constructed world, the ways in which we are assigned our place and the small acts of resistance, which cause the ‘normal’ to be adjusted to the complexity of human life.”
“The book is very well written, and Tallichet is careful to substantiate her claims with the rich data she collected over fifteen years. She treats her subjects with respect and recognizes the tensions, contradictions and fault lines in their collective accounts of working in the mines. This is the work of a seasoned social researcher.”
“The well-written and interesting stories provide a picture of women who have struggled to succeed in a very patriarchal workplace.”

Much has been written over the years about life in the coal mines of Appalachia. Not surprisingly, attention has focused mainly on the experiences of male miners. In Daughters of the Mountain, Suzanne Tallichet introduces us to a cohort of women miners at a large underground coal mine in southern West Virginia, where women entered the workforce in the late 1970s after mining jobs began opening up for women throughout the Appalachian coalfields.

Tallichet's work goes beyond anecdotal evidence to provide complex and penetrating analyses of qualitative data. Based on in-depth interviews with female miners, Tallichet explores several key topics, including social relations among men and women, professional advancement, and union participation. She also explores the ways in which women adapt to mining culture, developing strategies for both resistance and accommodation to an overwhelmingly male-dominated world.

Suzanne E. Tallichet is Professor in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has authored or co-authored more than a dozen articles and book chapters, including "Barriers to Women's Advancement in Underground Coal Mining" (Rural Sociology, 2000) and "Gendered Relations in the Mines and the Division of Labor Underground" (Gender and Society, 1995), which was reprinted in the textbook A Psychology of Women Reader (1999).




1. Digging In: Coping with Sexualized Work Relations

2. From Red Cap to Coal Miner: Adaptation and Advancement Underground

3. Ours in Solidarity: Women Miners and the UMWA

4. Over the Long Haul: Accommodation and Resistance to the Culture of Coal Mining


Appendix: Fieldwork and Profiles of the Study



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This book is a part of the Association of American University Presses' Books for Understanding: Mining book list, created to help all of us better understand the world we live in.

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