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 5: Rural Society
Rural studies have long sought to understand how people experience and organize rural life; how families operate farms; how communities construct cultural meanings and control space; and how marginal groups negotiate inequalities and sometimes contest social relations and structures. Collectively, these types of endeavour represent studies of rural society. Products of this work include the conceptualization of social formations or systems, and the identification of processes and relations that influence — and are shaped by — the practice of rural life. Using modernist and social scientific epistemologies, some studies have approached rural society as a given; a naturally existing phenomenon that can be identified, mapped — and sometimes critiqued -according to its complex but uneven structure and processes. Alternatively, postmodern and poststructural ...