Rural Sociology rural sociology

Bell, Michael M., Hugh Campbell,  and Margaret Finney, eds. (In press.) Country Boys: Masculinity and Rural Life.  Rural Studies Series of the Rural Sociological Society. College Station, PA: Penn State University Press.

Bell, Michael M.; with Donna Bauer, Sue Jarnagin, and Greg Peter. 2004.  Farming for Us All: Practical Agriculture and the Cultivation of Sustainability. Rural Studies Series of the Rural Sociological Society.  College Station, PA: Penn State University Press.


It is easy to feel overwhelmed and depressed by all the threats facing modern agriculture—threats to the environment, to the health and safety of our food, to the economic and cultural viability of farmers and rural communities. Hundreds of thousands of farmers leave their farms every year as the juggernaut of “big agriculture” plows across our rural landscape. But there are viable alternatives to big agriculture, as many farmers and others involved in agriculture, including consumers, are discovering. In Farming for Us All Michael Mayerfeld Bell offers crucial insight into the future of a viable sustainable agriculture movement in the United States.

--Bell, Michael M. 1996. “Stone Age New England: A Geology of Morals,” pp. 29-64 in Creating the Countryside: The Politics of Rural Sociology and Environmental Discourse, Melanie Dupuis and Peter Vandergeest, eds., Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
--Bell, Michael M. 1995. “The Dialectic of Technology: Commentary on Warner and England,” Rural Sociology, 60(4): 623-632.
--Bell, Michael M. 1994. "Deep Fecology: Mikhail Bakhtin and the Call of Nature," Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 5(4):65-84.
--Bell, Michael M. 1992. "The Fruit of Difference: The Rural-Urban Continuum as a System of Identity," Rural Sociology, 57(1):65-82.
--Bell, Michael and Edward Laine. 1990. Reprint of “Erosion of the Laurentide Region...,” pp. 173-202 in Ice Age Research, H. Liedtke, ed. Darmstadt, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
--Bell, Michael M.1989. "Did New England Go Downhill?" Geographical Review, 79(4):451-467.
--Bell, Michael and Edward Laine. 1985. "Erosion of the Laurentide Region of North America by Glacial and Glacio-fluvial Processes." Quaternary Research, 23:154-174.
--Laine, Edward and Michael Bell. 1982. "New Evidence from Beneath the Western North Atlantic for the Depth of Glacial Erosion in Greenland and North America: Reply to Andrew's Comment." Quaternary Research, 17:125-127.

Bell, Michael M. 1992. “The Fruit of Difference: The Rural-Urban Continuum as a System of Identity,” Rural Sociology, 57(1):65-82.


Ethnographic fieldwork conducted 1987-1991 in an English village of 475 inhabitants is drawn on to argue that the rural-urban continuum remains an important source of identity for country residents, providing both social-psychological & material benefits. Residents root this conception of themselves as country people in the natural environment, making this identity a particularly secure one. These real social consequences suggest that sociology should no longer doubt the reality of the rural-urban continuum as a sociological phenomenon.

rural sociology, sustainable agriculture, michael mayerfeld bell, environmental sociology