David L. Brown and Kai A. Schafft: Rural people and communities in the twentyfirst century: resilience and transformation
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Rural America has undergone dramatic changes in the last half century. Brown and Schafft (2011) survey these changes in Rural People and Communities in the Twentyfirst Century. The book synthesizes research on the social, economic, and political aspects of life in rural America. Intended for students, policy-makers, and academics, the book is an introduction to the many issues facing these communities today.
The authors introduce their work with a compelling argument for the importance of rural communities. The rural population, comprising 17 % of the US population, is larger than “other important subgroups” like Hispanics (Brown and Schafft 2011:11). Moreover, most of the nation’s infrastructure and natural resources exist in rural areas. American society is deeply invested in a collective rural identity. The “rural mystique” idealizes rural life as “somehow more moral, virtuous, and simple” than urban life (10). A collective memory of idyllic life before urbanization means that many...