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Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation, 2nd Edition



Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation, 2nd Edition

David L. Brown, Kai A. Schafft

ISBN: 978-1-509-52986-5 December 2018 Polity 272 Pages


Rural people and communities continue to play important social, economic, and environmental roles at a time when societies are rapidly urbanizing. This unrivaled critical introduction, now in a comprehensively updated second edition, examines the causes and consequences of major social and economic transformations affecting rural populations in recent decades, explores policies developed to ameliorate problems or enhance opportunities, and highlights the resilience of rural people and communities.

In an engaging, reader-friendly style, the book explores both socio-demographic and political economic aspects of rural transformation through an accessible and up-to-date blend of theory and empirical analysis, with each chapter’s discussion grounded in real-life case-study materials. The new edition has been completely revised throughout, with new data and literature, and carefully updated to address emerging issues of direct relevance to rural people and places, including a whole new chapter on rural politics.

Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century will continue to be the standard reading of choice for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in rural sociology, community sociology, rural and/or population geography, community development, and population studies.

  • Part I. Thinking About Rural Places in Metropolitan Society
  • 1. Rurality in Metropolitan Societies
  • 2. Urbanization and Population Redistribution
  • 3. Rural Politics and Governance
  • Part II. Rural Communities, Institutions and Environments
  • 4. Understanding Community in Rural Society
  • 5. Community Institutions in Rural Society
  • 6. Natural Resources and Social Change
  • Part III. Rural Populations
  • 7. Youth, Aging, and the Life Course
  • 8. Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Rural Areas
  • Part IV. Rural Economy and Socioeconomic Wellbeing
  • 9. Making a Living in Rural Communities
  • 10. Farms, Farmers, and Farming in Contemporary Rural Society
  • 11. Poverty Across Rural People and Places
  • Part V. Conclusions
  • 12. A Transformed Rural Society: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future
- Whole new chapter on rural politics and governance
- All data updated with many new figures
- New case study boxes and updating of illustrative issues
- More on topics of increasing relevance since the first edition published, such as climate change and community displacement

“Rural America finally has a textbook. David Brown and Kai Schafft provide an even-handed examination of rural American society that cuts through the mythology and stereotypes, documenting the processes and issues facing rural peoples and communities. This expanded new edition helps us understand not only what rural America is, but also what it means to be rural in an urbanizing and polarizing world.”
Jeffrey Jacquet, The Ohio State University 

“The 2016 U.S. presidential election made it obvious that the experience of people in rural areas matters for the political, social, and economic wellbeing of the nation. For anyone wanting to get up to speed on the nature of life in rural places, this book is a goldmine."
Katherine Cramer, University of Wisconsin-Madison