Rural education: Some sociological provocations for the field
AbstractIn this piece I raise a number of rural education issues that I think might be productively engaged through a sociological lens. The paper has developed from notes on 'international trends in rural education' for a pre conference workshop of AARE in December of 2014. My general conclusion is that the field of rural education, at least as it exists in Australia and in North America, has not yet adequately addressed problems of globalisation tending instead to operate within the space of what might be called traditional rural imaginaries. Specifically, I address a range of issues and trends that I think can engender better scholarship in the field of rural education. These issues range from problems of definition, demographics, mobilities, and geographies through to more fluid network and poststructural constructions of what constitutes rural space. Questions of power and the formation and surveillance of rural populations are also dimensions of rural education analysis that have not been given sufficient attention. My general argument is for a stronger engagement of the conceptual tools sociology and contemporary social theory in rural education scholarship.
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