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The objectives of the Association are to: foster the development of rural sociology; further the application of sociological inquiry to the improvement of the quality of rural life; and provide a mechanism whereby rural sociologists can generate dialogue and useful exchange.

IRSA World Congress August 2016: Invitation to Attend

All participants should take advantage of the concessional accommodation rates offered by the Eaton Chelsea, the Congress Hotel. Please see the Congress website for further information.

Sustainable and Just Rural Transitions: Connections and Complexities
IRSA XIV World Congress of Rural Sociology
Toronto, Canada
August 10-14, 2016

Global environmental changes, shifting resource scarcities, deepening social inequalities, both innovation and crisis in urban centers, and new patterns of voluntary and involuntary migrations are among the conditions and dynamics now shaping the futures of rural places and people. Intensifying and intertwining forces of commodification, industrialization, neoliberalization and globalization over the last several decades have produced uneven and arguably illusory gains, given evidence of the increasingly precarious position of labor and livelihoods throughout the rural world and the widespread distribution of environmental harm and ecological degradation. Within these general patterns and trends, circumstances can vary greatly across rural contexts within and between continents.

Rigorous analysis of the interconnected challenges now experienced by rural people and places, as well as comprehensive assessment of the proposed solutions and diverse experiments now underway will increase our understanding of the pathways which may be open, blocked or yet to be created for movement towards more sustainable and just rural futures. Sociologists and other social scientists addressing rural concerns play indispensable roles in identifying, analyzing and assessing the forms and consequences – both intended and unintended – of the diverse transition aspirations and experiences of rural people and places.

For more details please visit the IRSA Congress 2016 website

Call for Working Groups: ESRS Congress in 2017 in Kraków – Poland

CaptureThe XXVII European Society for Rural Sociology Congress will take place from 24 to 27 July 2017 in Kraków, Poland. The theme of the conference is “Uneven processes of rural change: on diversity, knowledge and justice”.
The Scientific Committee call for working group proposals to be submitted with deadline September 15th 2016.

More details are available on the conference web site.

The International Symposium on work in agriculture 2016

internationalsymposiumThe Maringá State University (in Paraná, Brazil) invites to the International Symposium on work in agriculture 2016, 8.-11. November. The aims of the symposium are to capitalize on knowledge of changes in farming work, to take into account the diversity and dynamics of the forms of work organization in different farming models (family-based, agribusiness, high-tech…), and to reflect on the future of the work of men and women, family workers and paid employees. For further information, please see attached flyer (PDF) or visit the symposium website.

PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Neoliberalism – Growing Resistance?

geoffrey-lawrenceIn the last President’s Corner of 2015 I outlined evidence of the (largely negative) impacts of neoliberalism on farming and rural communities. One issue not covered was that of resistance to neoliberalism. In this President’s Corner I have attached an interesting overview of this issue by leading rural sociologists Professors Alessandro Bonanno (Sam Houston State University) and Steven Wolf (Cornell University). They provide examples of opposition to a corporate-based agri-food system, highlighting the groups which are proposing alternative futures. Their contribution is a background ‘white paper’ for the mini-conference on ‘The New Frontiers of Resistance in Global Agri-food’, to be held at the IRSA World Congress of Rural Sociology in Toronto this August.

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Congratulations to Professor Charalambos Kasimis

grkWell-known European rural sociologist, Professor Charalambos Kasimis, has been appointed Secretary General of Agricultural Policy & Management of European Funds in the Greek government. He is the third in line in the hierarchy of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, after the Minister and the Deputy Minister. He will play an important role in shaping agricultural and rural policy at a critical time for the Greek economy. Professor Kasimis’ brief biography is provided, below.

Charalambos Kasimis is Professor of Rural Sociology at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the Agricultural University of Athens and Director of the Postgraduate Studies MSc. Programme “Integrated Rural Development and Management of Rural Space” (2010-2014). He has served as a member of staff at the Department of Economics of the University of Patras (1986-2003) and as the Director of the Institute of Urban and Rural Sociology at the National Centre for Social Research of Greece (1995-2000). His research interests focus upon issues of rural transformation and development in Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean region – especially in regard to family farming, employment and rural change. In past  years, the implications of international immigration on rural regions have become one of his main research foci. More recently, he has turned his attention to the study of the implications of the economic crisis upon the rural regions of Greece.