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Rural Geography

  • By: Pratyusha Basu
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Rural geography is the study of place-based economies and cultures characterized by (a) low settlement densities, low levels of connectivity, and hence a certain degree of isolation; (b) livelihoods that are predominantly agricultural or organized around other forms of direct dependence on natural resources and landscapes; and (c) attachments to long-standing traditions that often make them emblematic of cultural differences. Geographic meanings of the rural have been approached through contrasting urban and rural places within specific national contexts as well as across the international realm.

While urban geography is usually viewed as constituting a well-defined subfield, rural geography has often been a less visible subdisciplinary endeavor, though agricultural development has been a key topic within the broader rubric of economic geography. The prominence of urban geography, ...

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