Rural People and Communities in the 21st CenturyResilience and Transformation
Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century
Resilience and Transformation, 2nd Edition

Rural people and communities continue to play important social, economic, and environmental roles at a time when societies are rapidly urbanizing. This unrivaled critical introduction, now in a comprehensively updated second edition, examines the causes and consequences of major social and economic transformations affecting rural populations in recent decades, explores policies developed to ameliorate problems or enhance opportunities, and highlights the resilience of rural people and communities.

In an engaging, reader-friendly style, the book explores both sociodemographic and political economic aspects of rural transformation through an accessible and up-to-date blend of theory and empirical analysis, with each chapter’s discussion grounded in real-life case-study materials. The new edition has been completely revised throughout, with new data and literature, and carefully updated to address emerging issues of direct relevance to rural people and places, including a whole new chapter on rural politics.

<i>Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century</i> will continue to be the standard reading of choice for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in rural sociology, community sociology, rural and/or population geography, community development, and population studies.

For further learning and teaching resources (including Research Exercises and Discussion Questions), please visit the book’s webpage.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • November 2018 (hb)
    December 2018 (pb)
  • 272 pages
  • 171 x 246 mm / 7 x 10 in
Visit book companion site
Available Formats
  • Hardback $74.95
  • 9781509529858
  • Paperback $29.95
  • 9781509529865
  • Open eBook $29.95
  • 9781509529889
Table of Contents

Part I Thinking About Rural Places in Metropolitan Society

1 Rurality in Metropolitan Societies

2 Urbanization and Population Redistribution

3 Rural Politics and Governance

Part II Rural Communities, Institutions, and Environments

4 Understanding Community in Rural Society

5 Community Institutions in Rural Society

6 Natural Resources and Social Change

Part III Rural Populations

7 Youth, Aging, and the Life Course

8 Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Rural Areas

Part IV Rural Economy and Socioeconomic Wellbeing

9 Making a Living in Rural Communities

10 Farms, Farmers, and Farming in Contemporary Rural Society

11 Poverty Across Rural People and Places

Part V Conclusions

12 A Transformed Rural Society: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future

About the Author

David L. Brown is Emeritus Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University

Kai A. Schafft is Associate Professor of Education and Rural Sociology, and Director of the Penn State Center for Rural Education and Communities at The Pennsylvania State University

Accompanying online resources compiled with Annie Maselli

Show More


“Rural America finally has a textbook. David Brown and Kai Schafft provide an evenhanded examination of rural American society that cuts through the mythology and stereotypes, documenting the processes and issues facing rural peoples and communities. This expanded new edition not only helps us understand what rural America is, but what it means to be rural in an urbanizing and polarizing world.”
Jeffrey Jacquet, The Ohio State University

“The 2016 U.S. presidential election made it obvious that the experience of people in rural areas matters for the political, social, and economic well-being of the nation. For anyone wanting to get up to speed on the nature of life in rural places, this book is a goldmine."
Katherine Cramer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Show More