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.

The Rural Household as a Consumption Site1

The rural household as a consumption site


This chapter describes the transformation of rural society from a production orientation to a one oriented toward consumption, albeit consumption embedded in a productive landscape. Suburbanization of the USA and Europe is driving the transformation with the result that suburban tastes and practices are fundamentally accounting for national tastes and life styles. Farmers have become a minority in rural places both in the US and Europe, with the dual processes of the agricultural transition and suburbanization. The transformation is ironically evident in the altered consumption patterns of farm households, who of course are still producers. Suburbanization has stimulated a desire by farm households to look and to act like everyone else — because ...

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