Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-First Century

Paper or softback
David L. Brown, Louis E. Swanson
Published 09 Jan 2004
List Price £28.95



“Brown and Swanson (both former presidents of the Rural Sociological Society) present one of the finest overviews available of sociological issues facing the rural US today.”

—E. J. Krieg, Choice

“Keeping with the tradition of the two earlier volumes (Dillman and Hobbs, 1982 and Christensen and Flora, 1991), this book is a must-read for those who want or need to understand the dynamics of rural America.”

—Paul Lasley, Iowa State University

The twentieth century was one of profound transformation in rural America. Demographic shifts and economic restructuring have conspired to alter dramatically the lives of rural people and their communities. Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-First Century defines these changes and interprets their implications for the future of rural America. The volume follows in the tradition of "decennial volumes" co-edited by presidents of the Rural Sociological Society and published in the Society's Rural Studies Series. Essays have been specially commissioned to examine key aspects of public policy relevant to rural America in the new century.

Contributors include:Lionel Beaulieu, Alessandro Bonnano, David Brown, Ralph Brown, Frederick Buttel, Ted Bradshaw, Douglas Constance, Steve Daniels, Lynn England, William Falk, Cornelia Flora, Jan Flora, Glenn Fuguitt, Nina Glasgow, Leland Glenna, Angela Gonzales, Gary Green, Rosalind Harris, Tom Hirschl, Douglas Jackson-Smith, Leif Jensen, Ken Johnson, Richard Krannich, Daniel Lichter, Linda Lobao, Al Luloff, Tom Lyson, Kate MacTavish, David McGranahan, Diane McLaughlin, Philip McMichael, Lois Wright Morton, Domenico Parisi, Peggy Petrzelka, Kenneth Pigg, Rogelio Saenz, Sonya Salamon, Jeff Sharp, Curtis Stofferahn, Louis Swanson, Ann Tickameyer, Leanne Tigges, Cruz Torres, Mildred Warner, Ronald Wimberley, Dreamal Worthen, and Julie Zimmerman.


List of Tables

List of Figures


Introduction: Rural America Enters the New Millennium

David L. Brown and Louis E. Swanson

Part I: Who Lives in Rural America Today?

New Directions in Population Change and Diversity

1. Unpredictable Directions of Rural Population Growth and Migration

Kenneth M. Johnson

2. African Americans in Rural America

Rosalind P. Harris and Dreamal Worthen

3. American Indians: Their Contemporary Reality and Future Trajectory

Angela A. Gonzales

4. Latinos in Rural America

Rogelio Saenz and Cruz C. Torres

Reshuffling and Remaking Rural Families

5. What Do Rural Families Look Like Today?

Katherine MacTavish and Sonya Salamon

6. Older Rural Families

Nina Glasgow

7. Rural Children and Youth at Risk

Daniel T. Lichter, Vincent J. Roscigno, and Dennis J. Condron

8. Rural Women: New Roles for the New Century?

Ann R. Tickamyer and Debra A. Henderson

9. Rural Poverty: The Persisting Challenge

Leif Jensen, Diane K. McLaughlin, and Tim Slack

Part II: A Transformed Rural Economy

10. How People Make a Living in Rural America

David A. McGranahan

11. Who Benefits from Economic Restructuring? Lessons From the Past, Challenges for the Future

William W. Falk and Linda M. Lobao

12. Commuting: A Good Job Nearby?

Leanne M. Tigges and Glenn V. Fuguitt

13. Continuities and Disjunctures in the Transformation of the U.S. Agro-Food System

Frederick H. Buttel

14. Tourism and Natural Amenity Development: Real Opportunities?

Richard S. Krannich and Peggy Petrzelka

Part III: The Rural Community: Is It Local? Is It a Community?

Perspectives on Community

15. Community Agency and Local Development

A. E. Luloff and Jeffrey C. Bridger

16. Social Capital

Cornelia Butler Flora and Jan L. Flora

17. Civil Society, Civic Communities, and Rural Development

Thomas A. Lyson and Charles M. Tolbert

The Social Institutions That Maintain and Reproduce Community

18. The Global/Local Interface

Alessandro Bonanno and Douglas H. Constance

19. Competition, Cooperation, and Local Governance

Mildred E. Warner

20. Religion

Leland Glenna

21. Promoting Educational Achievement: A Partnership of Families, Schools, and Communities

Lionel J. Beaulieu, Glenn D. Israel, and Ronald C. Wimberley

22. Rural Health Policy

Lois Wright Morton

Part IV: People and the Environment: Tough Tradeoffs in an Era with Vanishing Buffers

23. Transforming Rural America: The Challenges of Land Use Change in the Twenty-First Century

Douglas B. Jackson-Smith

24. Community and Resource Extraction in Rural America

Lynn England and Ralph B. Brown

25. Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Whose Home Is It Anyway?

Steven E. Daniels and Joan M. Brehm

Part V: Changing National and International Policies: New Uncertainties and New Challenges

26. What Role Can Community Play in Local Economic Development?

Gary Paul Green

27. Devolution: Who Is Responsible for Rural America?

Jeffrey S. Sharp and Domenico M. Parisi

28. Welfare Reform in Rural Areas: A Voyage through Uncharted Waters

Julie N. Zimmerman and Thomas A. Hirschl

29. The Impact of Global Economic Practices on American Farming

Philip McMichael

30. Catalytic Community Development: A Theory of Practice for Changing Rural Society

Kenneth E. Pigg and Ted K. Bradshaw

Conclusion: Challenges Become Opportunities: Trends and Policies Shaping the Future

Louis E. Swanson and David L. Brown




David L. Brown is Professor of Rural Sociology at Cornell University and former President of the Rural Sociological Society.

Louis Swanson is Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University and former President of the Rural Sociological Society.