In 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.
The Asian Rural Sociology Association has published a newsletter, click here to view the newsletter (PDF, 176kb).
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. For more information please view call for papers or see the website of the Journal.
The UN General Assembly has declared this year the International Year of Soils. The aim is to increase awareness about the importance of soils to the planet’s future. How can rural sociologists – and other social scientists – become involved? Continue reading
Well-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.
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The theme of the 2015 conference will be “Knowing Rural: Situating the Lived Experience of Rurality 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 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.
Please contact Lauren McKinney or Jessica Crowe with any questions or ideas for special panels and events at the Annual Meeting.
The second “Agriculture in Urbanizing Society” will be held in Rome, Italy, 14-17 September 2015. It is being jointly organised by Pisa University and Wageningen University. A call for sessions is currently open. Please click here for more information.
In recent times our colleagues have been evaluating neoliberalism and its impacts upon farming – and upon rural society, more generally. A significant contribution has been Steven Wolf and Alessandro Bonanno’s edited collection The Neoliberal Regime in the Agri-food Sector: Crisis, Resilience and Restructuring which arose from an RSS Sociology of Agrifood Research Interest Group (SAFRIG) mini-conference held in Chicago in 2012. In August this year the theme of the European Society for Rural Sociology Congress was ‘Places of Possibility: Rural Societies in a Neoliberal World’. Globally, agri-food scholars including Alessandro Bonanno, Hilde Bjorkhaug, Larry Busch, Hugh Campbell, Jennifer Clapp, Madeleine Fairbairn, Vaughan Higgins, Phil McMichael, Terry Marsden, Bill Pritchard and many others have sought to understand links between neoliberalism and agrifood restructuring. What have been the impacts of neoliberalism upon agriculture and rural society? Are we moving beyond neoliberalism?
The 2014 ESRS Summer School, organized by Claire Lamine, assisted by Elsa Faugère and Lucile Garcon, took place between the 8th and the 12th September in the Centre Olivier de Serres in the Ardeche département of France. Continue reading