Economic Restructuring and Family Well-Being in Rural America

Edited by Kristin E. Smith, Ann R. Tickamyer

Hardback - £69.95

Publication date:

13 September 2011

Length of book:

416 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271048611

Rural areas have been hit hard by economic restructuring. Traditionally male jobs with good pay and benefits (such as in manufacturing) have declined dramatically, only to be replaced with low-paying service-oriented jobs—jobs that do not offer benefits or wages sufficient to raise a family. Concurrently, rural areas have experienced changes in family life, namely an increase in women’s labor force participation, a decline in married-couple families, and a rise in cohabitation and single-parent families. How have rural families coped with these social and economic changes? Economic Restructuring and Family Well-Being in Rural America documents the intertwined changes in employment and family and explores the outcomes for family well-being in rural America. Here a multidisciplinary group of scholars examines the impacts of economic restructuring on rural Americans and provides policy recommendations for addressing the challenges they face.

In addition to the editors, the contributors are Cynthia D. Anderson, Guangqing Chi, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Katherine Jewsbury Conger, Nicole D. Forry, Deborah Roempke Graefe, Steven Michael Grice, Andrew Hahn, Debra Henderson, Eric B. Jensen, Leif Jensen, Marlene Lee, Daniel T. Lichter, Elaine McCrate, Diane K. McLaughlin, Margaret K. Nelson, Domenico Parisi, Liliokanaio Peaslee, Jed Pressgrove, Jennifer Sherman, Anastasia Snyder, Susan K. Walker, and Chih-Yuan Weng.

“This is a timely and important book on a very underresearched and misunderstood topic. As numerous others point out, ‘rural’ America is not just farms and rural areas, and its problems are not all that different in some fundamental ways from urban ones. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in better understanding how global economic changes have affected not only jobs but, crucially, the people who hold them, the places they live, the people they live with. The book will be of interest to academics and nonacademics alike. Policy makers would be particularly well advised to learn from its rich empirical analysis and thoughtful discussion.”

—William W. Falk, University of Maryland