Return to the Rural Environment in Contemporary Sociology. Theories and controversies

Revista Română de Sociologie. 2008;19(5-6):511-529


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Journal Title: Revista Română de Sociologie

ISSN: 1224-9262 (Print)

Publisher: Romanian Academy

Society/Institution: Institute of Sociology

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Sociology (General)

Country of publisher: Romania

Language of fulltext: Romanian, English, Russian, Spanish

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Time From Submission to Publication: 6 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The study is a synthetic presentation of the main theoretical trends in contemporary sociology with respect to the rural environment and rurality, starting with the conceptual mapping of the main representations of rurality, structured on three main types of discourse: sociological, social and political. The first part is dedicated to arguments justifying from a scientific and practical perspective the need of returning to the preoccupation for the evolution of rural communities in contemporary society. As such, against the background of the unprecedented degradation of the quality of life in the urban environment (dominant in a large part of the world), nature and life in the rural environment become increasingly important values. Valuing or revaluing the rural environment (the return to the village and the values thereof) occurs both in real life and in reflexive thought, inclusively in sociology. The second part of the work places in contrast two main trends of contemporary rural sociology, starting especially from the European intellectual tradition, the French one in particular. This is the controversy between H. Mendras and M. Jollivet, two great personalities of the French and international rural sociology, which mainly developed around two works of rural sociology published in 1971 and 1976: the theory of peasantry, created by Mendras, formed around the conceptual trilogy: "sauvage", "paysans" and "agriculteurs" is seen by Jollivet as a simplistic evolutionist sketch.