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.
Chapter 32: Rurality and otherness
Rurality and otherness
Introduction: Rural others and other Rurals
There can be few more quoted interventions in the recent history of rural studies than Chris Philo's (1992) essay on how rural geography (and by implication other rural disciplines) has neglected myriad non-mainstream windows onto the rural world. His argument, crafted within a review of Colin Ward's (1990) book Child in the Country, gave critical prominence to the ways in which conventional accounts of rural life and rural change have tended to view the social and cultural characteristics of rurality through an implicit (and sometimes explicit) lens of typically white, male, middle-class narratives. He suggests:
there remains a danger of portraying British rural people … as all being ‘Mr Averages’, as being men in employment, earning ...