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ERIC Number: EJ1042595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-0161-956X
The Ambivalence of Community: A Critical Analysis of Rural Education's Oldest Trope
Corbett, Michael
Peabody Journal of Education, v89 n5 p603-618 2014
The concept of community has been central to the discourse of rural education for generations. At the same time, community has been and continues to be a deeply problematic concept. I begin this analysis with Raymond Williams's characterization of the idea of community as a uniquely positive concept, arguing that this framing is, as Williams pointed out, deeply problematic. This paper interrogates the idea of community and looks at the way it has been used historically in rural education as well as some of the ways that it is understood and used in educational, social science, policy, and governance discourses today. In this analysis I draw on the foundational communitarian analysis of American social thinkers Paul Theobald and Robert Putnam as well as on Williams's critical analysis of rurality and community. I argue that effective rural educational policy today needs to problematize the idea of community and develop it in ways that avoids playing into nostalgic and retrogressive notions of the rural. This argument is based on a conception of place that keeps in focus multiple and complex understandings of emerging postproductivist rural spaces.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A