Man's Quest for Social Guidance: The Study of Social Problems

By Howard W. Odum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
PROBLEMS OF COUNTRY LIFE

Rural Study . The present country life movement in America is well illustrated by the American Country Life Association, which grew gradually out of the original conference on country life called by President Roosevelt in 1909, and out of departments of rural life in various colleges and universities. The scope and objectives of rural social study and social work may be comprehended by studying the committees of the Association as at present organized. The fourteen committees are: Rural Government and Legislation, Rural Organization, Country Planning, Teaching of Rural Sociology, Recreation and Social Life, Religious Life and Activities, Rural Social Work, Communications and Transportation, Rural Leadership Training, Investigation of Rural Social Problems, Rural Education, Health and Sanitation, Home Making, International Aspects of Country Life. The further scope of rural problems may very well be illustrated by the eight volumes in which have been published the proceedings of the annual meetings of the American Country Life Association. These volumes are: Rural Objectives, Rural Health, Rural Organization, Town and Country Relations, Country Community Education, The Rural Home, Religion in Country Life, Needed Readjustments in Rural Life.

The Rural Population . The population basis of the country life problem has been well stated by Professor C. E. Lively in the Handbook of Rural Social Resources, itself an outgrowth of the American Country Life Conference, to which we shall refer again. This statement of the rural population is set down here in contrast and as supplement to our discussion of the urban population in the previous chapter:

In the United States, the term rural is commonly used to designate that group of some fifty million people who live in the open country or in places of less than 2,500 population. This rural element which once constituted the whole population has been shrinking with each census until in 1920 it comprised only 48.6 per cent of the total

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