Course code Soci5044

Credit points 2

Rural Studies

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours56

Date of course confirmation06.10.2020

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Ženija Krūzmētra

Dr. geogr.

Prior knowledge

PolZ5009, Public Administration

Soci5043, Sociological Theory

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to acquire an interdisciplinary and complex approach (sociological, geographical, anthropological, rural development, environmental, etc.) to the theoretical perspectives of rural research and modern research methodology. In the study course students will learn in-depth knowledge about synthesis of territory, place and society in the context of transformation and rural development in global, regional and local scale. Unlocking the various concepts, theories and methods of their use in acquiring international experience, gain skills and abilities to independently carry out analysis of rural changes. Students will learn the scientific terms in the Latvian and foreign language.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

In-depth knowledge of the synthesis of space, place and society in the context of rural transformation and rural development on a global, regional and local scale (practical work). Understanding of indicators characterizing rural change, their multidisciplinary application and various types of problem solving (essay).
Skills in identifying and analysing various aspects of rural change, to develop solutions, both using indicative world examples, and to find innovative ideas for different directions of rural development (independent work).
Competence to independently analyze various rural transformation processes using a multidisciplinary approach and develop reasoned proposals for solving problems at different levels (independent work, presentation).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Rural area/ countryside as an object of study (1h).
2. Rural transformations, the interaction of their causes and consequences (1h).
3. Urban-rural interaction (1h).
4. Changes in rural society in the processes of spatial and social mobility of the population (1h).
5. Globalization, regionalization, localization in the context of rural development (1h).
6. Rural governance, support tools (1h).
7. Rural inequality and segregation (1h).
8. Place attractiveness and place marketing (1h).
9. Environmental concepts, sustainable development (1h).
10. Innovations in the countryside (1h).
11. Creative development of rural space. Creative industries (1h).
12. Development of multidisciplinary research, research problems (1h).

List of seminar topics and practical work (12 h):
1.Theoretical framework of rural transformation analysis: literature studies, discussion (2h)
2.Rural development policy change, features, analysis (2h)
3.Changing the structure of rural society in spatial and social mobility processes (2h)
4.Innovations in the countryside - review and evaluation of theoretical aspects and examples (2h)
5.Analysis of a book on the topic of life and work in the Latvian countryside (2h)
6.Review of the latest international research, analysis, discussion (2h)

Requirements for awarding credit points

Formal test with grade

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The study course evaluates the acquisition of literature, participation in seminars and discussions, essay, development of independent work, their results and presentations. The proportion of evaluations of independent work is 30%, 30% and 40%.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Graded test. Cumulative assessment of study results (100%). A score of 10 is equal to one point on a 10-point marking scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Handbook of Rural Studies. Ed. by P.Cloke, T.Marsden, P.Mooney. London: SAGE, 2006. 496 p.
2. Carolan M. The Sociology of Food and Agriculture. London: Routledge, 2012. 336 p.
3. Cimdiņa A., Raubiško I. Cilvēks un darbs Latvijas laukos. Rīga: Zinātne, 2012. 174 lpp. Pieejams:
4. Hillyard S. The Sociology of Rural Life. New York: Berg, 2007. 203 p. (eBook) Pieejams:

5. Macclancy J. (ed) Alternative Countrysides: Anthropological Approaches to Rural Western Europe Today. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015, 172 p. eBook. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:

Further reading

1. Networking the Rural: The Future of Green Regions in Europe. Ed. by P.Milone, F.Ventura. Assen: Van Gorcum, 2010. 252 p.
2. Kolāte E., Kursīte E. Latvijas pierobežas pēdējie mohikāņi. Rīga, 2016. 127 lpp.
3. Woods M. Rural Geography: processes, responses and experiences in rural restructuring. London: SAGE, 2005. 330 p.
4. Peri-urban futures: Scenarios and models for land use change in Europe. Ed. by K.Nilsson, S.Pauleit, S.Bell, C.Aalbers, T.S. Nielsen. London: Springer, 2013. 463 p.
5. Moseley M. Rural Development: Principles and Practice. London: SAGE, 2003. 227 p. (eBook) Pieejams:,+2003.+227+p.+(eBook)&ots=p__HpA3t8v&sig=0quLKcaAEkdSKpTDCOJY_i2JieQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
6. Willium W., Lysom F.A., Lysom T.A. Rural Sociology. In: The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed by G. Ritzer. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2007, p.3963-3967.

7. Miele M., Higgins V., Bjørkhaug H., Truninger M. (eds) Transforming the Rural: Global Processes and Local Futures. Vol.24, 1st ed. Research in Rural Sociology and Development. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited. 350 p. eBook. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:

Periodicals and other sources

1. Rural Sociology. European Society for Rural Sociology. Online -ISSN 1549-0831. Pieejams:
2. Sociologia Ruralis. European Society for Rural Sociology. Online -ISSN 1467-9523 Pieejams:
3. Journal of Rural Studies. ELESVIAR. 2010-2011.-ISSN:0743-0167 Pieejams:

4. Laikraksts "Latvijas Avīze" ISSN 1691-1229.


Compulsory study course in the academic master's study program "Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration".