ERIC Number: ED435519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct-28
Reference Count: N/A
Rural as Context.
Howley, Craig B.; Howley, Aimee A.
This essay explains two ways in which "the rural" serves as context. The common way interprets the rural lifeworld as an impediment to certain projects and goals, thus framing "the rural" as a subjugated and diminished reality. The other way is called "the rural circumstance" in order to situate the rural lifeworld as a center of attention, not as something to get rid of. This focus reverses the implied agency so that cultivation of the purposes and commitments of such a lifeworld becomes the object of care. The argument draws on the work of Raymond Williams and Jurgen Habermas. Habermas proposes that institutions of capital "suck meaning" from the lifeworld--actual life-spaces of people, rural and otherwise. For Williams, it is essential for those who care about rural places to imagine decent rural futures for them, i.e., to reconstruct and fashion new "rural" meanings. These decent futures would diverge sharply from those imagined from the cosmopolitan perspectives that dominate global firms, universities, and agencies of national will. Such decent futures would reflect a sensibility of place and community, but also struggle for economic justice and the common good. This essay contrasts some educational purposes that come from rural lifeworlds with those that are purveyed in rural schools from the cosmopolitan center, and addresses the issue of what might be "properly" rural. The question, however, is slippery. To imagine "rural" rural futures, it is important to consider many competing answers to the question, "What is properly rural?" (Contains 16 references.) (Author/SV)
Descriptors: Context Effect, Elementary Secondary Education, Misconceptions, Role of Education, Rural Education, Rural Environment, School Community Relationship, Social Bias
For full text:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A