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The Ohio State University

School of Environment and Natural Resources

Rural Sociology

Graduate: Rural Sociology

The field of Rural Sociology is a sub-field of sociology, the study of human societies and social groups. Rural sociologists focus on the study of social life in rural and non-metropolitan areas domestically and internationally. They continue to develop theory and knowledge and produce information relevant to public policy and local development.

Rural Sociology research focuses on environmental well-being, sustainable development of natural resources, social and community quality of life, and diffusion and impacts of technologies. The faculty in SENR provides expertise for students to focus on agriculture and the environment or social change and development.

Active Graduate Advisors:
Kerry Ard
Joseph Donnermeyer
Kristi Lekies
Linda Lobao
Kenneth Martin
Richard Moore
Cathy Rakowski
Jeff Sharp

Recent Theses and Dissertations (available on OhioLink*)

G. Apaliyah


 An Analysis of the Effects of Program Structure and Content on Outcomes of Community Leadership Education Programs

E. Caricofe


Handcrafting The Change They Want To Eat In The World? An Inquiry Into The Who, What, and Why of Artisanal Food Production in Central Ohio

L. Harrington


PROGRESA/Oportunidades Mexico's Conditional Cash Transfer Program: Promises, Predictions and Realties

M. John


The Impact of Race, Class, and Gender on the Assimilation Patterns of Second-Generation Caribbean Immigrants in the United States

E. Parisian


Health Care Reform and Rural Hospitals: Opportunities and Challenges under the Affordable Care Act

T. Sherry


The Life Satisfaction of Voluntary Simplifiers: Is Low Materialism a Path to Happiness

A. Stough-Hunter


Examining the Role of Community and Gender on Perceptions of Impaired Water Quality: A Comparative Case Study

A. Thatcher


Using Gender and Location to Examine the Effects of Geographic and Social Proximity in Determining Attitudes and Behavior about Animal Welfare

*OhioLink articles available to OSU students, faculty, and staff

ENR 5600 Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems
RURLSOC 5500 Diffusion of Innovations
RURLSOC 5520 Amish Society
RURLSOC 5530 Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems
RURLSOC 5540 Population, Place and Environment
RURLSOC 5580 Social Impact Assessment
RURLSOC 6500 Rural Poverty
RURLSOC 7550 Rural Community Development in Theory and Practice
RURLSOC 7560 Environmental Sociology
RURLSOC 7600 Concepts and Theories in Rural Sociology
RURLSOC 8500 Development Sociology in Theory and Practice


Supporting Courses -- Sociology
SOCIOL 6582 Sociological Theory
SOCIOL 6608 Qualitative Methods in Sociology
SOCIOL 6649 Intro to Quantitative Research/Multiple Regression
SOCIOL 6655 Sociological Research Methods
SOCIOL 7652 Sociological Survey Research Methods
SOCIOL 8547 Theories of Social Change
SOCIOL 8607 Causal Modeling