new-logo-fb.gifThe 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.

2015 RSS Annual Meeting Call for Papers

logo-rssThe theme of the 2015 conference will be “Knowing Rural: Situating the Lived Experience of Plurality in Definitions of Rural” and will take place in Madison, WI August 6-9, 2015.

Around the globe, official definitions of rural vary, and each definition has implications for how we understand and give meaning to rural spaces and places. Making sense of rural experiences requires understanding the diverse geographies, economies, and communities that make up rural places. As rural populations age and rural communities confront the emergent complexities of contemporary life, the lived experience of rurality is undergoing rapid transformation. What social, economic and political factors are shaping and re-shaping the lived experience of rural populations? How are rural populations responding and adapting to these changes? And, finally, how might these changes challenge the ways we understand and define rurality? We invite you explore these and a wide variety of other questions at our next annual meeting. We look forward to seeing you in Madison.

Extended Abstracts:
Extended abstracts should be approximately 350-500 words (about 1.5-3 pages) and briefly outline the purpose and theoretical framing of the paper, methods and data used, and preliminary (if available) or expected findings. We offer this description as a general guideline and understand some papers may include other information.
The Extended Abstracts deadline is February 6, 2015.
To submit, please visit the “Call for Papers” tab on the RSS website, or click here
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Please contact Lauren McKinney or Jessica Crowe with any questions or ideas for special panels and events at the Annual Meeting.

Call for Sessions – IRSA Congress 2016

October 2014: First call for session proposals (due by January 15, 2015)

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.

We invite proposals for sessions that invoke the overarching theme of the Congress: the connections and complexities shaping prospects for sustainable and just rural transitions in the present era of crisis and change.

For more details on the call for sessions and a list of suggested themes, please visit the IRSA Congress 2016 website

President’s Corner: A Prosperous Future for Rural Asia?

geoffrey-lawrenceThe Fifth International Conference of the Asian Rural Sociological Association was held in Vientiane, Laos, from 2-5 September 2014. I was invited to present a keynote which I had written with colleagues from Australia and Germany (click to access paper). The keynote dealt with the process of ‘financialisation’ and what this might mean for rural Asia. However, there were several other prominent themes which emerged from the conference. Continue reading

New book: First World Hunger Revisited Food Charity or the Right to Food?

image001First World Hunger Revisited exposes the hidden functions and limits of food charity and corporately sponsored food banks as primary responses to widespread domestic hunger and income poverty in twelve rich ‘food-secure’ societies and emerging economies: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the USA. Who wins, who loses when governments violate their Right to Food obligations under international law to ensure the food security of their vulnerable populations? It challenges the effectiveness of food aid and argues for integrated income redistribution, agriculture, food, health and social policies informed by the Right to Food, whilst critiquing the lack of public policy and political will in achieving food security for all. This second edition is edited by Graham Riches and Tiina Silvasti, and published by Palgrave Macmillan.