ERIC Number: ED389478
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Changing Culture of Rural Ontario. Occasional Papers in Rural Extension, No. 9.
Sim, R. Alex
This paper overviews the evolution of rural society in Ontario (Canada) from the author's personal experience and research. The paper defines "rural" and "culture" and discusses how these concepts are relevant to social change and the resulting effects on technology, demographics, social organization, and community beliefs and meanings. Modern technology has resulted in the closure of rural schools, churches, businesses, and post offices. Additionally, daily travel between large and small communities has closed the gap between rural and urban life and changed rural demography. For example, rural teachers are now less likely to live in the community; to know much of the child's home life; or to meet socially with the children, their parents, or other individuals active in the community. Another impact of rural change is the centralization of local institutions and loss of local control. In rural Ontario, schools are managed by a cluster of highly trained and highly paid officials with whom parents, teachers, and principals have limited influence. In essence, urbanization has resulted in the adoption of urban values and beliefs at the expense of traditional rural values that emphasize the importance of community life. A form of social action is proposed that uses "community sounding" as a way to stimulate rural community rejuvenation. This effort solicits community participation and stresses local history to reestablish an awareness of rural values. Rural people must strive to develop a new definition of rural by freeing themselves from labels and stereotypes that are impressed on them by urban opinion makers. (LP)
Descriptors: Centralization, Change Strategies, Citizen Participation, Community Action, Community Change, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Local Issues, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Small Towns, Social Change, Social Values, Urbanization
University of Guelph, Dept. of Rural Extension Studies, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 ($5.35 Canadian); Internet World Wide Web (http://tdg.uoguelph.ca/[tilda]res/occasional[underscore]papers/9.html).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Guelph Univ. (Ontario).
Identifiers: Community Renewal; Ontario; Rural Culture