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.

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.

New book: Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s

image002This fourth Rural Sociological Society decennial volume provides advanced policy scholarship on rural North America during the 2010s, closely reflecting upon the increasingly global nature of social, cultural, and economic forces and the impact of neoliberal ideology upon policy, politics, and power in rural areas. The chapters in this volume represent the expertise of an influential group of scholars in rural sociology and related social sciences. Its five sections address the changing structure of North American agriculture, natural resources and the environment, demographics, diversity, and quality of life in rural communities. The book is edited by Conner Bailey, Leif Jensen, and Elizabeth Ransom and published on West Virginia University Press, 2014.

Call for Papers for a Journal of Appalachian Studiues Forum On Economic Development in Appalachia

The Journal of Appalachian Studies announces a special two-year forum on sustainable economic development in Appalachia, starting with the journal’s Spring 2016 (Vol 22, No 1) issue and ending with the Fall 2017 (Vol 23, No 2) issue.

We invite the submission of manuscripts dealing with practices relevant to sustainable economic development in Appalachian communities. We will consider a wide-range of scholarship from a variety of disciplines and applied fields. Manuscripts focusing on economic development theory, empirical and/or applied research, or narrative essays on development issues will be welcome. We also seek research, which compares Appalachia to other regions in the world.

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