Rural America is a complex mixture of peoples and cultures struggling for survival. It ranges in character from workers in manufacturing plants in Georgia to Laotian immigrants who have relocated in Kansas; from farmers committed to sustainable agriculture to entrepreneurs planning a world-class ski resort in California's Sierra Nevadas; from laid-off miners in West Virginia to Native Americans in the Southwest searching for an economy consistent with their cultural values. These are all parts of rural America, seldom heard of in the mass media but deeply reflective of the legacies left by those who settled the land.This book bridges the gap between social theory and community change by focusing on the problems that face rural America and offering students a framework for applying sociological concepts. The authors explore such issues as the diversity among rural communities; the interactions between communities and the economy; the governmental, economic, and social resources available in rural communities; and how communities organize for action. Although the authors explore community change within a rural context, their findings are applicable to urban neighborhoods as well. The notion of empowermentthat the understanding and analysis provided through the social sciences can result in community actionis unique to this book.This book can be used as a text for introductory courses in rural sociology, social problems, and community studies or by community groups to explore their own responses to a variety of problems. The book is also the companion text to a PBS college-level telecourse and television series premiering in Spring 1993. The telecourse consists of thirteen one-hour videotapes, portraying the experiences of fifteen rural communities from across the United States. The complete telecourse consists of the videotapes, this text, a study guide, and a faculty manual.For information about purchasing videocassettes, taping off-air, or licensing the telecourse, call the Annenberg/CPB Collection at 1-800-LEARNER.
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. Cornelia Butler Flora is professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University.Jan L. Flora is professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University.Susan Fey is at North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Iowa State University.