ERIC Number: ED242459
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Many Faces of Ephraim: In Search of A Functional Typology of Rural Areas.
Whitaker, William H.
The literature of social work and rural sociology lacks conceptualization of the term "rural" and treats the term imprecisely. According to a 1960 survey, authors dealing with rural/urban differences do not agree on the attributes of "rural." However, if the rural concept is to be a useful analytical tool and guide to social work practice, its attributes should be specified carefully. Traditionally, the term "rural" pertains to areas of low population density, small absolute size, and relative isolation, but the definition is confused by the appearance in the literature of the rural/urban continuum. Rural sociologists should seek a dynamic rather than a static distinction of rural/urban differences, which would focus on social class, power relationships, and changes in roles and networks. Sociologists have proposed rural definitions based on occupation (focusing on farming and excluding other rural occupations), sociocultural constructs (focusing on human behavior and values resulting from population and culture), ecology (focusing on the distribution of people in space and based on population statistics, social service system organizations, or Marxian concepts of superstructure and infrastructure), and multidimensional considerations (such as metropolitan proximity and number of urban residents). (SB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Maine Univ., Orono.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual National Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas (7th, Dubuque, IA, July 26, 1982).