Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-First Century

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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

“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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271022413
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Series: Rural Studies
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction: Rural America Enters the New Millennium 1
Pt. I Who Lives in Rural America Today?
1 Unpredictable Directions of Rural Population Growth and Migration 19
2 African Americans in Rural America 32
3 American Indians: Their Contemporary Reality and Future Trajectory 43
4 Latinos in Rural America 57
5 What Do Rural Families Look Like Today? 73
6 Older Rural Families 86
7 Rural Children and Youth at Risk 97
8 Rural Women: New Roles for the New Century? 109
9 Rural Poverty: The Persisting Challenge 118
Pt. II A Transformed Rural Economy
10 How People Make a Living in Rural America 135
11 Who Benefits from Economic Restructuring? Lessons From the Past, Challenges for the Future 152
12 Commuting: A Good Job Nearby? 166
13 Continuities and Disjunctures in the Transformation of the U.S. Agro-Food System 177
14 Tourism and Natural Amenity Development: Real Opportunities? 190
Pt. III The Rural Community: Is It Local? Is It a Community?
15 Community Agency and Local Development 203
16 Social Capital 214
17 Civil Society, Civic Communities, and Rural Development 228
18 The Global/Local Interface 241
19 Competition, Cooperation, and Local Governance 252
20 Religion 262
21 Promoting Educational Achievement: A Partnership of Families, Schools, and Communities 273
22 Rural Health Policy 290
Pt. 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 305
24 Community and Resource Extraction in Rural America 317
25 Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Whose Home Is It Anyway? 329
Pt. V Changing National and International Policies: New Uncertainties and New Challenges
26 What Role Can Community Play in Local Economic Development? 343
27 Devolution: Who Is Responsible for Rural America? 353
28 Welfare Reform in Rural Areas: A Voyage through Uncharted Waters 363
29 The Impact of Global Economic Practices on American Farming 375
30 Catalytic Community Development: A Theory of Practice for Changing Rural Society 385
Conclusion: Challenges Become Opportunities: Trends and Policies Shaping the Future 397
References 407
Contributors 473
Index 481
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