Sociology 433

SOCY 433

Catalog Entry

SOCY 433. Rural Sociology
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: SOCY 110 or SOCY/ANTH 121

This course is the study of rural society including its organization, rural people and their activities. The focus is on historical background, recent developments and significant current and future trends.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Introduction

A. Nature of Rural Sociology
B. Basic Components of Socio-Cultural System
C. Rural Society--Past and Present
D. Rural-Urban Differences

II. Demography

A. Rural Demographic Trends: Past and Present
B. Third World Demographic Problems: Rural and Urban
C. Size, Distribution, and Characteristics of Rural Population

III. Social Institutions in Rural Society

A. Economics

1. Rural industrialization: Appalachian Case

B. Family
C. Education
D. Religion
E. Politics

IV. Social Problems in Rural Areas

A. Poverty
B. Crime
C. Health
D. Housing

V. Special Groups in Rural Areas

A. Elderly
B. Women
C. Minorities

1. Blacks
2. Hispanics
3. American Indian

VI. Social Change in Rural Areas

A. Communication and Technological Change
B. Rural-Urban Interaction
C. The New Rural Society


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Through lecture at the beginning of the course, the instructor establishes a framework that structures all further course content. The overall goal of the course is to have students recognize the symbiotic and dynamic relationship between rural and urban society. This goal is achieved through the following course activities:

  • Textbook Reading: The text for this course is a general overview of rural society and serves as a reference. It details special characteristics of rural society in relationship to urban society.
  • Current Event Analysis: Students are required to review current newspapers, news magazines, and television news for stories about rural life. They are required to analyze the stories in relation to course materials.
  • Small Group Work: Students are required to work in small groups and focus on a topic from the syllabus. This work is conducted with the professor present. As each group's topic appropriately fits into the outline of the course, the group is asked to report on their findings and relate them to the total course content.
  • Writing Essay Tests: On tests and exams, students analyze and integrate course materials. The emphasis is on integration and presentation of their learning in concise, clear form.

Persistent uses of writing, small group collaboration with professor contact, reporting, analysis, and lecture provide students with a variety of ways to study and learn about rural society.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will:

1. recognize rural sociology as a subdiscipline within the broader field of sociology;
2. understand how rural society has been viewed in the past and how it is presently viewed in relationship to urban society;
3. have knowledge of special rural populations and major demographic processes in rural society;
4. have knowledge of social institutions in rural society, e.g., family, education, religion, economics, politics;
5. understand special problems of rural society, e.g., poverty, crime, health, and housing;
6. have knowledge of the special problems of special groups in rural society, e.g., elderly, women, and minorities;
7. have knowledge of social change in rural society.


Assessment Measures

Knowledge about rural society will be measured in several ways: tests, comprehensive final examination, current event analysis written papers, and a written report from small group work. The focus of all assessment measures is how well students integrate material covered in the course. The final examination is the ultimate test of knowledge of course material in that a specific rural issue is anlayzed using the framework for the study of rural society presented in the first several lectures.


Other Course Information

No other course information deemed necessary at this time.


Review and Approval

January, 2004 Reviewed Peggy A. Shifflett

March, 2009