NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ784300
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Pages: 24
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 112
ISSN: ISSN-0036-0112
From Hometown to Nontown: Rural Community Effects of Suburbanization
Salamon, Sonya
Rural Sociology, v68 n1 p1-24 Mar 2003
Regional suburbanization processes are transforming rural America socially and physically, threatening the uniqueness of small towns whose diversity is a national resource. This article reviews existing holistic descriptions of American rural communities since post-World War II by rural sociologists and anthropologists. Three new community case studies are briefly sketched--one "agrarian" in slow decline, another "postagrarian" where suburbanization is overwhelming agrarian traits, and a third that combines elements of both. With suburbanization, transformation into a generic nontown with the loss of place attachment and community identity is argued to have particularly negative effects for youth, whose socialization becomes privatized as parental civic engagement and general adult watchfulness decline. These changes constitute a community effect for rural youth analogous to the neighborhood effect richly documented by urban sociologists for inner-city youth. The suburbanization challenge is for small towns to resist homogenization of the vital aspects of agrarian community life they most cherish. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Rural Sociological Society. 104 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7040. Tel: 573-882-9065; Fax: 573-882-1473; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A