Rural Society and Social Policy Issues

The course aims to study the processes of rural restructuring and the socio-economic transformations of the rural space in the light of globalization, the evolution of the urban-rural interface and the emergence of the “new rurality”; both as a social and institutional construction within the framework of rural development and territorial cohesion policies.

The main topics covered are:

Definitions and understanding of rural space and society. The rural as a social representation.

Rural restructuring process: Globalization, agricultural modernization and social change. Farm crisis and post-productivist transition. New challenges for rural / local development policy.

Social and demographic changes in rural areas: counter-urbanization phenomena, changing rural economy and social recomposition, rural conflicts, new forms of socioeconomic and spatial inequalities, rural governance issues.

Employment in the countryside (opportunities and constraints in the labor market, forms of employment), gender and employment, rural micro-entrepreneurship, migrant workers in the rural economy.

Invisible aspects of poverty and social exclusion in the countryside (the elderly, migrants, underemployed young people).

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