The rural is on the move, now as always. In rural studies, however, there has long been a bias toward imagining the rural as stable. The old gemeinschaft-gesellschaft continuum saw the rural as the realm of long-standing ascriptive ties of family, community, place, and ethnicity, in contrast to the achieved statuses of urban life. Where there was mobility in rural life, it was to leave it behind for the competitive uncertainties of life among strangers in cities. Social mobility meant spatial mobility, and little social mobility was recognized in the rural, with all its traditionalism. Adoption-diffusion theory—perhaps rural sociology’s most widely diffused and adopted contribution, even if rural sociology is rarely recognized as its source—similarly rested on the image of a stable rural, resistant to innovation, except among those few, sought-after ‘early adopters’. Far more of the rural population were ‘late adopters’ of change, or even ‘laggards’. Where change has been recognized in the rural, it has generally been as part of a narrative of protection, defending the rural from the ravages of capital, gentrifiers, pollution, and other emanations of the urban: the rural as victim. The rural has rarely been envisioned as a source of activeness on its own. The victim has also become a villain through its stabilities, confounding culture with idyllic myths of order and old virtues in much social constructionist work.

Mobilities and ruralities: An introduction

OSTI, GIORGIO
2010

Abstract

The rural is on the move, now as always. In rural studies, however, there has long been a bias toward imagining the rural as stable. The old gemeinschaft-gesellschaft continuum saw the rural as the realm of long-standing ascriptive ties of family, community, place, and ethnicity, in contrast to the achieved statuses of urban life. Where there was mobility in rural life, it was to leave it behind for the competitive uncertainties of life among strangers in cities. Social mobility meant spatial mobility, and little social mobility was recognized in the rural, with all its traditionalism. Adoption-diffusion theory—perhaps rural sociology’s most widely diffused and adopted contribution, even if rural sociology is rarely recognized as its source—similarly rested on the image of a stable rural, resistant to innovation, except among those few, sought-after ‘early adopters’. Far more of the rural population were ‘late adopters’ of change, or even ‘laggards’. Where change has been recognized in the rural, it has generally been as part of a narrative of protection, defending the rural from the ravages of capital, gentrifiers, pollution, and other emanations of the urban: the rural as victim. The rural has rarely been envisioned as a source of activeness on its own. The victim has also become a villain through its stabilities, confounding culture with idyllic myths of order and old virtues in much social constructionist work.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2849658
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