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ERIC Number: EJ854674
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Native Alaskan Engagement with Social Constructions of Rurality
Sherval, Meg
Journal of Rural Studies, v25 n4 p425-434 Oct 2009
There is no doubt that defining and measuring "rurality" is problematic. In states such as Alaska on the western Pacific coast of the United States, more than two-thirds of the State is classified as "remote rural". In 2000, despite only 10 per cent of the general Alaskan population living in these regions, for more than 41 per cent of Alaskan Natives, these places represent their traditional homelands. These areas generically referred to as the "Alaskan bush" are considered remote, isolated and distant by not only the rest of mainland United States, but also, by most urban Alaskans. Labelling these places thus, continues to reinforce and sustain the much recognised "rural-urban divide" and in turn, influences top-down policy decisions which in Alaska tend to stereotype and pigeonhole regional development, rather than recognise reinterpretations of it. This paper therefore, considers how rurality is defined and measured in and by the State of Alaska and more broadly by the United States government. It questions whether these definitions are adequate descriptions of the realities on the ground and whether such labelling hinders growth, and economic and cultural survival. It also suggests that current interpretations of rurality need to be reconceptualised. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska