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Rural Sociology Syllabus
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rural sociology
social problems

How to Cite

Sparkman, Rachel. 2020. “Rural Sociology Syllabus”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, July. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This course is taught as an upper-level undergraduate elective that introduces students to rural sociology; rural people, experiences, inequalities, and institutions. I designed this course as an "introduction" to all things rural, therefore a wide range of topics are found in the syllabus schedule, from cultural identity, education, health,...

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Subject Area(s):
Rural Sociology
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This course is an upper-level undergraduate sociology course but can be adapted to lower-levels or graduate-level. This class is typically taught at a 45-student capacity, which I find that the organization and assessments in the syllabus are very manageable with that class size. The Flora, Flora, and Gasteyer (2016) reader is very useful because of the...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will identify key concepts in rural sociology and rural life.
  2. Students will apply sociological theory and concepts to the rural experience.
  3. Students will identify and assess current social problems in rural areas and provide critical insight to address social change.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Weekly readings, assignments, and exploration of data research tools (USDA, drought monitor, voting statistics and policies).
  2. Discussion board assignments throughout the semester, designed for students to apply class concepts to rural topics.
  3. Research Proposal paper where students identify a main social problem that rural people experience, plan and implementation of how to approach this problem while using sociological theory and current research to back their argument.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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