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ERIC Number: EJ912242
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
The Empty Shops Project: Developing Rural Students' Sociological Insight
Willis, Evan; Burns, Edgar
Teaching Sociology, v39 n1 p27-41 Jan 2011
An informal research project with high local relevance was developed for a first-year sociology course at an Australian rural university campus. The project developed students' sociological insight by challenging them to investigate "truths" about their own region, rather than immediately pushing them to comprehend new and different societyscapes. Classroom sessions elicited debate over the adequacy of social theories about rural and urban life, centering on the question, "How do you know?" This morphed into debate about "How can you find out, sociologically?" With interest piqued, many students volunteered to participate in investigating the proportion of empty shops in their own or nearby towns, as one measure of rural well-being. Classroom analysis and reflection on the results--what they meant and limits in how well this measured rural districts and rural town existence--greatly enhanced the introductory sociology learning experience for the core group and, to a lesser extent, the "audience" members of class. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia