Rural sociologists figure prominently in the move towards public sociology. The paper takes up Michael Burawoy's call for public sociology and discusses what rural sociologists have to offer to publics and how we stand to gain as a discipline in working with publics. The paper argues that rural sociologists' ability to adopt a cosmopolitan view while negotiating the complexities of global/local processes provides a useful theoretical stance for doing public sociology. Methodologically, both feminist methods and various approaches to networks can guide us as we do public sociology. Then, the paper provides two examples of recent efforts to do public sociology with a women's community group in Sri Lanka in response to the tsunami and with the Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network to illustrate the possibilities and limitations of working with networks. In conclusion, the paper addresses opportunities for doing public sociology, the challenges we face as we go public, and future work that is needed to develop theoretically and methodologically strong public rural sociology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science