Rural Geography

Soren Larsen

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI:
Rural Geography

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  • Earth Sciences and Geography
  • Human Geography



Rural geography focuses on the spatiality of rural life and environment. Its historical development as a subfield can be divided into three periods: a preliminary phase (before 1950), during which time human, regional, and cultural geography focused, mostly inadvertently, on rural landscapes as part of a broader disciplinary preference for nonmetropolitan study areas; an emergent period (1950s–1970s), when the subdiscipline was initially formalized under a rubric that emphasized agriculture, land use, and population/settlement patterns; and the contemporary period (1970s–present), marked by the integration of political-economic and post-structural theories and by new interests in rural restructuring, social movements, discourse, governance, identities, and experiences. Rural sociology is a closely related subfield that developed earlier (shortly after World War I) and has consistently produced scholarship relevant to rural-geographical interests. Traditionally, rural geography has focused on postindustrial states located mostly in the global North (e.g., in Europe and North America), along with Australia and New Zealand, but more attention is increasingly directed toward rural areas in the developing world. Today, rural geography is a healthy and vibrant subdiscipline practiced by a large international group of scholars in academia and beyond. It is well represented within the flagship specialty periodical Journal of Rural Studies, as well as in specialty research groups of national geography organizations and an array of degree and certificate programs focused on rural topics.

Article.  9918 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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