Rural Communities: Legacy and Change / Edition 3

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Communities in rural America are a complex mixture of peoples and cultures struggling for survival by implementing innovative approaches to their problems. These people range from miners who have been laid off in West Virginia to Laotian immigrants relocating in Kansas to work at a beef processing plant to entrepreneurs drawing up plans for a world-class ski resort in California's Sierra Nevada.

This thoroughly revised edition of Rural Communities focuses on various capitals in rural areas - natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial, and built. This integrative approach provides students with a framework for understanding rural society based on the concepts and explanations of social science. Issues covered include racial and cultural diversity; globalization and rural communities; the central role of communities in organizing a sustainable future; and building community in the context of ubiquitous change. Updates to the third edition include a new chapter on governance, as well as new material on increasing tensions over international immigration, the differential impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on rural communities and rural people, and the rural impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the South. The authors also examine the international trade regime, economic restructuring, and the choices for communities and regions in the face of these changes.

About the Author:
Cornelia Butler Flora is director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and professor of sociology at Iowa State University, where she is also Charles F. Curtis distinguished professor of agriculture

About the Author:
Jan L. Flora isprofessor of sociology and extension community sociologist at Iowa State University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I am delighted to see that the fourth edition of Rural Communities will be released soon. I have used earlier versions in a graduate seminar on ‘Rural Community Development in Theory and Practice’ and students universally praise the book for its systematic analysis, organization around the ‘capitals framework,’ and the breadth of rural issues that the authors discuss. It has become the core text. I can see that the fourth edition contains all the elements that students and I have prized over the years as well as updates the discussion of rural issues, particularly in the area of environmental issues such as climate change and in the relationship between rural American communities and global forces. The new edition will assume its place among my graduate students as our core reading and its content will link diverse assigned articles and reports that delve into other examples of changing rural communities and citizens' efforts to control and direct that change." –Cathy A. Rakowski, The Ohio State University

“The authors provide accessible conceptual and methodological frameworks that will be highly relevant as a guide to people engaged in university-community collaborations. Part of its value derives from the authors' skillful combination of clear exposition of theories linked to their practical application to community development and social change. Given my interest in sustainable food systems for health and well-being,  I especially appreciate the attention to asset-based approaches. I think this book will be an excellent resource for anyone interested in understanding and facilitating cross-perspective communication and transdisciplinary research. Its combination of depth and accessibility will make the volume useful to scholars, students, and practitioners.” – Ardyth Harris Gillespie, Cornell University

Praise for Previous Editions:

“This text contributes to pedagogical effectiveness, student learning and empowered community practice. The text is well written, clearly organized, engaging, insightful and readable for a wide range of audiences.”
Teaching Sociology
“This is a very readable book which both students and more advanced readers will appreciate. The authors present their material in a clear and systematic way. ... It will be of particular value to rural social workers and community practitioners who will benefit from its broad conceptual framework and extensive discussion of issues and challenges facing rural communities today.”
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
"This book paints an illuminating picture of the complexity that is rural America today. A highly readable examination of the issues, this book sets a new standard for a publication that is both narratively approachable and theoretically rigorous."
— Karl N. Stauber, president of the Northwest Area Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota, and former Under Secretary, USDA
"This is an exciting, practical, well-researched, and usable framework for making a difference in rural communities. Highly recommended to anyone interested in understanding how rural communities function and in being part of positive community development in rural America."
— Dick Senese, Associate Dean, Community Development & Vitality, University of Minnesota Extension Service
"This long-awaited update incorporates conceptual developments of the past decade. The focus remains on the unique character of rural America, but the authors make it clear that rural can only be understood in light of urban, national, and global phenomena. By the same token, students and other scholars interested primarily in urban phenomena will find much of interest in Rural Communities."
— Connor Bailey, Auburn University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813343778
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2007
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cornelia Butler Flora is professor of sociology at Iowa State University, where she is also Charles F. Curtis Distinguished Professor of Agriculture.
Jan L. Flora is an extension sociologist and professor of sociology at Iowa State University.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Components of Rural Community: Community Capitals
1. Community Capitals and the Rural Landscape
2. Natural Capital
3. Cultural Capital and Legacy
4. Human Capital
5. Social Capital and Community
6. Political Capital
7. Financial Capital
8. Built Capital

Part II: The Transformation of Community Capitals in a Changing World
9. Consumption in Rural America
10 The Global Economy
11 Governance

Part III: Mobilizing Community Capitals for Social Change
12. Generating Social Change

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