Rural Sociology

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
David O'Brien, Chair
109 Gentry Hall
(573) 882-0392
ObrienDJ@missouri.edu 
dass.missouri.edu/ruralsoc/

Carol Swaim, Administrative Assistant
121 Gentry Hall
(573) 882-7451
swaimc@missouri.edu
 

The Department of Rural Sociology participates in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree offered by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and offers a minor in rural sociology. For information about the agriculture degree, see the Agriculture degree page. The Department of Rural Sociology also offers graduate degrees.

Professor D. J. O'Brien#, J. S. Rikoon**, J. I. Stallmann**
Associate Professor J. L. Gilles**, M. Grigsby**
Assistant Professor M. Hendrickson*H. Qin*
Teaching Assistant Professor (NTT) C. Brock*
Extension Assistant Professor J. Adams*, S. Jeanetta*, M. S. Leuci*
Research Assistant Professor C. Fulcher*
Associate Professor Emeritus K. E. Pigg*
Professor Emeritus R. R. Campbell*, M. F. Nolan*

*

Graduate Faculty Member - membership is required to teach graduate-level courses, chair master's thesis committees, and serve on doctoral examination and dissertation committees.

**

Doctoral Faculty Member - membership is required to chair doctoral examination or dissertation committees.  Graduate faculty membership is a prerequisite for Doctoral faculty membership.

121 Gentry Hall
573-882-7451
http://dass.missouri.edu/ruralsoc/

Director of Graduate Studies: Jere Gilles

The Department of Rural Sociology offers the MS and PhD degrees. The program consists of broad training in sociological theory and methodology with attention to application and policy issues.

Students entering with a bachelor's degree normally are admitted into the master’s program even if they are going on to a PhD, exceptional students may be admitted to the Masters/PhD program. Up to 12 hours of makeup work may be required for students who have less than adequate undergraduate preparation in the social sciences.

Specializations

Areas of specialization in the department are: sustainable development, community facilitation, and analytical processes

Financial Aid from the Program

Request for financial support is made by the student at the time of application. Most of the financial support is for research assistantships. Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program website or ask the program contact for details.

RU_SOC 1000: Rural Sociology

Introduction to basic concepts and principles of sociology with a focus on rural populations and places. The course explores interconnections between rural/urban and local global economies and cultures. Students are exposed to the rich diversity of rural society, social changes underway, and to current social issues. (Students may not earn credit for both RU_SOC 1000 and SOCIOL 1000).

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 1103: Topics in Rural Sociology - Behavioral Science

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000


RU_SOC 1104: Topics in Rural Sociology - Social Science

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000


RU_SOC 1120: Population and the Environment

(same as SOCIOL 1120 and PEA_ST 1120). Changes in the structure and characteristics of population groups and their relationship to both human and non-human aspects of the biophysical environment.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 1150: The Amish Community

(same as PEA_ST 1150). Examines historical antecedents and contemporary culture and social structure of the Amish. Topics include cultural symbols, life ceremonies, the family, counter-cultural pressures, stresses, social change.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 SOCIOL 1000 or ANTHRO 1000


RU_SOC 1175: The Health of People in Local Communities

Health is a universal concern of all people. However, the place of residence has a major impact on many things closely related to health including the local cultural such as diets, exercise, occupations, local health services, etc. This is an introduction to these topics.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: introduction to Sociology or Rural Sociology


RU_SOC 2010: Leadership in Today's World

Examination of dynamics of group leadership, especially in local voluntary organizations; study of how leader's behavior is related to success or failure of organization's program.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000


RU_SOC 2203: Topics in Rural Sociology - Behavioral Science

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000, SOCIOL 1000 or ANTHRO 1000


RU_SOC 2204: Topics in Rural Sociology - Social Science

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000, SOCIOL 1000 or ANTHRO 1000


RU_SOC 2225: Science, Technology and Society

Overview of the social influences that shape science including how scientific knowledge is contested and legitimated; how social forces (among them mass communication) influence the choice of innovations; and the role social systems and sectors play in the use and benefit of science. Communication intensive-discussion, presentation and essay based.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000


RU_SOC 2950: Social Research I

(same as SOCIOL 2950). Introduction to principles of methodology; theory and research; survey of basic research designs and perspectives; preparation for understanding and conducting social research. Required for Sociology majors.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 3085: Problems in Rural Sociology


Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 3100: Recent Theories in Sociology

(same as SOCIOL 3100). Introduction to major theoretical positions and issues in contemporary American sociology. Logical and intellectual structure of major theoretical schools: functionalism, conflict, exchange, symbolic interaction, phenomenological-ethnomethodological theories.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: SOCIOL 2200


RU_SOC 3235: Global Perspectives and Realities

Designed for students who have or wish to study, live or work outside of their home country. Presents sociological perspectives on globalization and intercultural communication as well as the steps needed to prepare for a valuable and safe experience abroad.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 3303: Topics in Rural Sociology - Behavioral Science

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

Credit Hour: 2-3
Prerequisites: 6 hours Rural Sociology or Sociology, or junior standing


RU_SOC 3304: Topics in Rural Sociology - Social Science

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

Credit Hour: 2-3
Prerequisites: 6 hours Rural Sociology or Sociology, or junior standing


RU_SOC 3325: Sociology of Food and Nutrition

This class explores individual food choices and larger social forces. Topics include: world hunger, food and the environment; food choices and culture, class and personal identity; the effects of social stigmas, advertising trends, and government regulations on body image; new social movements for sustainable food systems.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and junior or senior standing or instructor's permission


RU_SOC 3940: Practicum in Rural Sociology

Independent research or professional experience under faculty supervision. Projects must be arranged by student and faculty member prior to registration.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing, departmental consent


RU_SOC 4120: Social Statistics

(same as SOCIOL 4120). Descriptive statistics and bivariate quantitative analysis techniques commonly used by social scientists. Includes coverage of parametric and non-parametric methods. Introduction to computer analysis.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: SOCIOL 2950


RU_SOC 4301: Topics in Rural Sociology

Current and new topics not currently offered in applied and/or theoretical areas in Rural Sociology. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000 or equivalent


RU_SOC 4310: Sociology of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Human dimensions of agriculture and natural resource management by giving an overview of sociological approaches related to these fields. Special emphasis is given to social organization, globalization and social constructions related to food and natural resources.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing


RU_SOC 4325: American Community Studies

An introduction to the study of American communities. The course starts with community theories and then focuses on a wide variety of historic and contemporary community studies such as Plainville, Middletown, Sidewalk and others. Seminar format.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 4335: Social Change and Development

(same as SOCIOL 4335). Nature of social change and development. Emphasizes sociological theories of social change and development contrasting them with approaches from the disciplines.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000 and junior standing


RU_SOC 4341: Building Communities from the Grassroots

(Same as PEA_ST 4341). Introduction and application of basic community development concepts, methods and practical skills for involving and empowering local citizens and leaders effectively in community-based efforts regardless of the issue.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 4342: Empowering Communities for the Future

Focuses on the professional practice and applications of community-based development including participatory action research, community economic development, organizational development, use of technology, citizen education and integration of practice. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 4343: Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities

Addresses community and citizen power; large group intervention processes for change; facilitating small group process; community organizing; community sustainability, dealing with poverty and disenfranchisement; community conflict resolution; ethics; and integration into practice. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 4370: Environmental Sociology

(same as SOCIOL 4370). An interdisciplinary examination of domestic and international environmental issues focusing on social, cultural, and policy dimensions. Perspectives of the social sciences and humanities are included.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing


RU_SOC 7120: Social Statistics

(same as SOCIOL 7120). Descriptive statistics and bivariate quantitative analysis techniques commonly used by social scientists. Includes coverage of parametric and non-parametric methods. Introduction to computer analysis.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: SOCIOL 2950


RU_SOC 7301: Topics in Rural Sociology

Current and new topics not currently offered in applied and/or theoretical areas in Rural Sociology. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000 or equivalent, RU_SOC 4301


RU_SOC 7310: Sociology of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Human dimensions of agriculture and natural resource management by giving an overview of sociological approaches related to these fields. Special emphasis is given to social organization, globalization and social constructions related to food and natural resources.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 7325: American Community Studies

An introduction to the study of American communities. The course starts with community theories and then focuses on a wide variety of historic and contemporary community studies such as Plainville, Middletown, Sidewalk and others. Seminar format.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 7335: Social Change and Development

(same as SOCIOL 7335). Nature of social change and development. Emphasizes sociological theories of social change and development contrasting them with approaches from other disciplines.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 1000 or SOCIOL 1000


RU_SOC 7341: Building Communities from the Grassroots

Introduction and application of basic community development concepts, methods and practical skills for involving and empowering local citizens and leaders effectively in community-based efforts regardless of the issue.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 7342: Empowering Communities for the Future

Focuses on the professional practice and applications of community-based development including participatory action research, community economic development, organizational development, use of technology, citizen education and integration of practice. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 7343: Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities

Addresses community and citizen power; large group intervention processes for change; facilitating small group process; community organizing; community sustainability, dealing with poverty and disenfranchisement; community conflict resolution; ethics; and integration into practice. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 7370: Environmental Sociology

(same as SOCIOL 7370). An interdisciplinary examination of domestic and international environmental issues focusing on social, cultural, and policy dimensions. Perspectives of the social sciences and humanities are included.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 7445: Seminar on Issues in the Sociology of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Issues in current research in the sociology of agriculture of developing and industrial nations. Links sociological theory with research in agriculture, examining contributions of applied research to sociological knowledge.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 7446: Community Social Structure

(same as SOCIOL 7446). A comparative study of communities in different nations and in urban and rural areas. A primary focus of the course will be on social change in communities in response to changing economic, political, social, cultural, and ecological factors.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8085: Problems in Rural Sociology

Research for student capable of semi-independent work.

Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 8090: Research in Rural Sociology

Research leading to thesis or dissertation. Graded on a S/U basis only.

Credit Hour: 1-99


RU_SOC 8130: Advanced Social Statistics

(same as SOCIOL 8130). Introduction to multivariate analysis for social scientists. Emphasis on non-experimental applications of analysis of variance and correlation-regression. Computer applications emphasized.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 4120 or equivalent


RU_SOC 8287: Seminar on Sustainable Development

(same as SOCIOL 8287). An interdisciplinary examination of sustainable development focusing on social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of development. International and domestic issues and approaches to sustainable development are included.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8430: Program Development and Evaluation

(same as AG_ED_LD 8430). Program development principles, teaching plans and evaluation principles applied to extension program development.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 8435: Political Ecology

Political ecology is an analytical approach to environment and natural resource issues at local, regional and global scales, emphasizing political, economic, cultural, social and historical factors and their relationship to ecological trends and processes. Seminar format. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8444: Agriculture, Food and Community

Introduces key debates in the sociology of food and agriculture. Includes research on the structure and history of the agriculture system and its impacts on farmers, communities and the natural environment.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8447: Seminar on Contemporary Issues in Rural Sociology

Seminar on Contemporary Issues in Rural Sociology

Credit Hour: 1-99


RU_SOC 8448: Society and Ecosystems Research Seminar

(same as AG_EC 8448 and NAT_R 8448). This seminar, capstone for the Graduate Certificate Program in Society and Ecosystems, exposes students to interdisciplinary research on interactions between social, economic and ecological systems.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8450: Research in Rural Sociology

Research not expected to terminate in thesis or dissertation.

Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


RU_SOC 8510: Research Methods and Design

(same as AG_ED_LD 8510). A foundations course on quantitative research methodology and design principles for investigating problems in social and behavioral sciences. A focus is on the language of research, purposes, validity threats, and data collection methods. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8540: Methods of Qualitative Research

(same as AG_ED_LD 8540). Overview of philosophies, approaches toward, design, data collection, analysis and reporting of qualitative research.

Credit Hours: 3


RU_SOC 8610: Economic and Sociological Approaches to Collective Action

(same as AG_EC 8610). This course identifies analytical and methodological tools, including rational choice and social capital, to deal with practical problems of collective action in: agricultural cooperatives, rural community development, political interest groups and other mutuals.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: AG_EC 8610


RU_SOC 9090: Research in Rural Sociology

Research leading to thesis or dissertation. Graded on a S/U basis only.

Credit Hour: 1-99


RU_SOC 9287: Seminar in Qualitative Methods in Sociology

(same as SOCIOL 9287). Examination of various qualitative methods of research, including problem-formulation, access and interpretation of data, theory-generation, and preparation of research reports.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 8510 or instructor's consent


RU_SOC 9437: Synthesis of Theory and Method in Sociology

The purpose of the course is to provide the student with a critical understanding of the basic theoretical paradigms employed in the development of research projects in sociology. The course is designed for graduate students.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 4130 and RU_SOC 8510, or instructor's consent


RU_SOC 9480: Community Survey Research

(same as SOCIOL 9987). This course applies social science survey research methods to the unique kinds of problems that arise in the study of whole communities.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 8510 or equivalent


RU_SOC 9510: Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation

(same as AG_ED_LD 9510). A quantitative methods course in measurement, data collection and analysis related to social and behavioral science research. An applied approach is taken on instrumentation and analyzing data using descriptive and inferential statistics. Practical skills in data manipulation using SPSS are developed. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: AG_ED_LD 8510 or RU_SOC 8510 or instructor's consent


RU_SOC 9837: Seminar in Multivariate Analysis Techniques

(same as SOCIOL 9837). Examination of various qualitative techniques of data analysis.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: RU_SOC 8510 or instructor's consent