• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The Handbook of Rural Studies represents the vitality and theoretical innovation at work in rural studies. It shows how political economy and the "cultural turn" have led to very significant new thinking in the cultural representations of: rurality; nature; sustainability; new economies; power and rurality; new consumerism; and exclusion and rurality.It is organized in three sections: approaches to rural studies; rural research: key theoretical co-ordinates and new rural relations.In a rich and textured discussion, the Handbook of Rural Studies explains the key moments in which the theorization of culture, nature, politics, agency, and space in rural contexts have transmitted ideas back into wider social science.

Networking Rurality: Emergent Complexity in the Countryside
Networking rurality: Emergent complexity in the countryside
JonathanMurdoch
Introduction

In the view of many commentators, contemporary economic and social life is becoming increasingly dynamic in nature. To take just one example, in Sociology Beyond Societies John Urry (2000) argues that current changes in social life are resulting in the displacement of longstanding socio-economic structures by heterogeneous constellations of networks. In Urry's view, such networks have proliferated in the wake of globalization trends which have helped to dissolve endogenous social structures previously encased within strong nation-states. Thus, Urry directs attention to the flows of objects, information and peoples that now configure national and other territories. Writing with Scott Lash, he argues that,

The movement, the flows of capital, money commodities, labour, information and ...

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