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Beruin, Laurence C.


Rural sociology is the same as sociology but with the word rural in the beginning. Sociology is the scientific study of human behaviors, social relationships and the society itself. On the other hand, the term rural refers to the characteristics of the country or country life. Adding them both, we can come up with this meaning. Rural sociology is the scientific study of human behaviors and social relationships in the rural society. It is a branch of sociology that understands what rural society is and wants. Using scientific methods to form and develop accurate and reliable ideas of knowledge, this summarizes everything what the rural society is composed from its emergence and progress. It is a science for the reason that we follow the use of scientific method in making researches not just by our own subjective instincts. The steps are as follows: Selecting a research problem Reviewing the literature Formulating a hypothesis Choosing a research design Collecting the data Analyzing the results Stating conclusions

Studying rural sociology gives us the idea of how societies work not only in the past but as it continues to the future. Poverty, discrimination, social changes and kinship system in rural areas, all of these are to be tackled by this course. Nonetheless, what matters most to this course is not the understanding of the different topics in it but the application of this learned ideas for the betterment of each and everyone that are to be affected. It deals with social problems mostly that grow out of mans attempt to live in an organized way of life. This life of each individual are associated with other individuals forming relations that manifest their well-beings. This problems are as old as what history could tell since mans first experiences are of rural. Understandings the nature that feds him up, man came to realize how to get enough food in times that nature has none to offer was the first problem to arise. From hunting and gathering society to horticulture society to pastoral society to agricultural society and then came to surplus society. As we progress, we absolutely abolished the first problem yet others arise as soon as our society evolved into a better one, involving all the factors that dont seem to matter at first. More likely, rural sociology focuses on findings solution to different problems in rural communities wherein it tackles aspects from different fields of social sciences namely; political science, economics, anthropology and even anthropology.

Since we are talking about rural areas here and somewhat helping them on their different social problems, we arent practically only talking about farmers or peasants. Since rural as of now doesnt only scope those people that do farming, it includes almost every kind of rural inhabitants with an agriculturally-related occupation. These occupations include farming, fishing, livestock-raising, and other folks harvesting raw materials for urban consumption. Also, it may sound not right but rural sociology also includes the study of those living in small towns, suburban dwellers and some city workers living in rural houses. In further studying rural sociology, we must also understand the concepts that describe and characterizes every rural inhabitant and their ways of living and relationships. It includes their culture, roles, interactions, and social classes wherein groups and organizations took place. Culture is all the knowledge that is acquired by human beings through their membership of a society incorporating all the shared knowledge, expectations, and beliefs of the group which can be transmitted to one another. Having adequate information on a rural societys culture helps a rural sociologist how to properly study it. Lets say for example, an introduction of hybrid corn to a community of Mexican-American farmers producing higher yields but according to those whove eat it, it doesnt taste as good for meal consumption as the ones theyve used to harvest ignoring this kind of technological advancement for the sake of their culturally acquired taste. Culture, especially those on rural areas, prevents them on exploring new ways for their living. Here in our country, the usual style of farming is still intact. Farmers would still use their friendly carabaos to plow the field. Hybrid seeds are used for higher yields but not all farmers in the Philippines are into this variety. Their adoption of innovation maybe slow however with the help of change agents, it can continue to solve their differences. Culture may also vary in aspects of family life, religion, economic institutions and their political system. Under culture, it consists of values, norms, attitudes, and language. Values are abstract and beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment where it is assumed to be right and important. It reflects what decisions are to be made. Imagine a graduating high school student from farm background tends to decide not to go to college; this choice reflects the values he grew upon. Norms are the established behavior patterns for the members of a given social system indicating what is right and important. These are specific indications of cultural values providing standard for behaviors which are appropriate and inappropriate, and the restrictions of what is acceptable. Attitudes are complex mental state involving beliefs, feelings, values and dispositions to act in certain ways or objects. Learning ones attitudes helps to comprehend his/her behavior making us aware of what to react on his/her disposition.

Language is the way to communicate and express the ideas to other people. It can be words or thought-symbols. It is the expression of culture that affects perception. It guides both the rural dwellers and the rural sociologists studying them to specifically understand one another. Another concept is role. It is the pattern of behavior associated with a distinctive social position. Examples of roles are farmer, father, mother, husband, wife, politician, public servant, and other professions. Status, alternatively, is the position of individual or group relative to others in a society. Role and status are always connected to each other since people occupy a status and perform roles. Interaction is another concept. It is the process of exchanging messages with other persons and lies at the heart of all human beings. Through this, we learn everything we can know of our culture. Social classes are very important with regards to our subject matter since it is where differences arise. These differences are the reason for the existence of social classes. Wealth, income, land ownership, material possessions, education, and certainly prestige. This is where exploitation and oppression starts even from the earliest of our civilizations. It includes social status, social stratification, castes, and social mobility. Social classes can promote a sense of belongingness by the basis of age, managerial ability, intelligence and length of residence. Studying social classes not only leads to better understanding of rural societies but specifically the ways and groups they belong with regards to urban oppression. More importantly, it is about the desire to get ahead of ones peer and comprehending their social institutions and groups. Knowing all these stuff still hangs a question in air. Why do we really need to study the rural people and their places? Its inevitable but rural population are decreasing for the past few years mostly on developed countries. Yet our country, with all its might, like other Asian and African countries has a high number of rural populations and most of them are poor. We study to learn and to progress, to educate and to develop, and to build up a foundation for a better living. As a student of this course, things that Ive learned is what or who the rural are and what are the issues they procure. Rural people are those who live in the open country and small villages and not on those places whose industry is carried on mainly out of doors in the open fields rather than indoors or in close quarters, e.g. large towns or cities. They include those people whom agriculture is the most important form of livelihood. They live to provide not only for themselves but also the urban people. They grow crops, produce livestock, and also fishes but they are still left on the deepest part of the hierarchy. They to, became peasants whom in European terms refers to those sometimes poor who are exploited by land owners. This is where different issues and problems are manifested and where we took the liberty of knowing it all and help them make a difference.

They became the exploited workforce for the reason that they dont have enough knowledge of what theyre into. Since they lack proper knowledge of the dos and donts because of not having a good educational background, they are inclined to follow someone who showed up knowing everything or someone whom owns something. This ownership is always land. They work their whole life on those hacienderos but only earns a bit of what they harvest. Also called rural proletariat, they are completely landless, dependent on labor-power and have an extreme low standard of living. Here in our country, this rural proletariat only earns at most Php 300 per day or dependent on the percentage (porsiyentuhan) of what theyve produced per yield. A lot lower than the minimum salary in Metro Manila having more than Php 400. With the prices of goods and services nowadays, what can these bits of money buy? Some kilos of rice and a few pieces of canned sardines, this is way below nutritional nourishment and standard of living. As fellow citizens, they need to be treated well, paid well enough to sustain a better living. They are the ones that sweat almost blood and let their skins burn under the sun but still doesnt get the right amount. Movements of farmers are spread out on our country. What they barely want is a piece of land whom they can call themselves, that they can plant and harvest anytime they want without the constraints of someone holding beyond their necks hanging them on the verge of being threatened and fired if not to do the job properly. As what have Michael Lipton believed, Development must mean the raising of the living standards of mankinds poorest forty percent. Since were talking about development lets not forget that here in Philippines not all the rural people are poor, opposite to it, not all urban people are rich. Stereotypical urban dwellers are relevantly rich since they can afford to live in a place where development and advancements are just doorsteps away. But the truth is not all of them cant afford this living like in NCR. They are called informal settlers or squatters since they squat or dwell on every open space they could see. With the heavy migration of rural people to urban areas, some of them are migrating not that they can afford but for the reason that want to afford it. Cities are mainly industrialized meaning opportunities are everywhere. People migrate to find a source of living. Empty-handed, they explored the wonders of this new found settlement to experience the life that most only can dream of. These informal settlers or the more commonly known urban slums are a foremost contemporary social problem of countries like ours. Every capital city, like Metro Manila, has a ring of substandard housing surrounding it with a tightening belt of human misery. Theyre common attributed to ill consequences of agendas of development. These informal settlers composed the laborers, part-time workers and factory workers. Some have so-called careers with the exception of the OFW or Overseas Filipino Workers but we will not give them spotlight for the purpose of describing this courses application in relation to our country. Ruralites or peasants having no idea of technological employments are this kind.

However, some of them also composed the 7.3% unemployment rate of our country, a foreseeable truth that manages to escape our governments watch. As much as what do rural peasants or proletariat looks like is the same as what urban poor is except that they dont yearn on agriculture as to have income. Going back to the rural people, lets lighten up the discussion by first understanding what the rural people thinks and feels and how a rural community looks like and what are its functions. Urban people and rural people despite being both humans live differently on their own ways. It is best described by their cultures. On most parts, there tend to be a distinction between a dwelling, a home, and a family. A home is usually understood to be the place where a family lives. Dwelling most commonly denotes a habitation or an abode which may be owned, leased, or rented. And a family is a collective body of persons living in one house, under one-head or may be a descendent of people. For rural people, they all sometimes mean the same. They have a greater number in terms of owning house and lots given that they used it for farming purposes. In rural places, ancestral houses or domain can be found. Those houses arent small if you would search a picture on the internet. Yet, the number of those people residing in these huge sums of land and casa are declining. The term rural depopulation is the term to discuss this occurrence. As Ive said earlier, rural population is decreasing. The reason, technology and peoples urge to embrace it. Technically, this decreasing doesnt mean that its losing inhabitants but just gaining the smallest share of population increase. Think of the trend of rural population increase as finding green pieces of M&M in a pack while blue/red pieces for the opposite population. You see how many pieces can be found for each color? The ratio can be 1:5 and sometimes there isnt a bit of green M&M in a pack. Thats how rural population gain numbers. Even agriculture-driven countries have this loss of ruralites. Then why do some people stay rural or live in country-sides. As the number of urban areas and cities increase in every continent, rural places will always be on the verge of dwindle. But as reality perceives, through course of time the best kinds of individuals are those of rural ones. They bring up large families, provides job for everyone, and especially places to live. The poorest elements are those who migrate to cities because they cant afford anything. And as long as individuals of rural agricultural enterprise can furnish satisfying occupations and career for both success, rural will continue to have its fair share of its cultural race. There are instances when rural apt to become insecure on urban people since their ideas are on different perspectives. In locally-made movies there are always scenes wherein when a person from city specifically Metro Manila goes to a province, people always praise and give them a warm welcome as if they higher than them. Urbanites act high and mighty when their on the province for the reason that they know better stuff unlike people on country-sides. Gadgets and stuff, everything new to ruralites are things they boast of.

The social activities of the ruralites have been rather different from those of the city folks. Rural dweller came in contact with his immediate family and a few neighbors only, and his acquaintance was necessarily somewhat limited while urban resident have many acquaintances yet barely know his abundant neighbors in their respective apartments. City dwellers tend to group themselves according to class, occupational, or cultural lines whilst rural dwellers must force group themselves by neighborhoods, barely knowing the meaning of class except where class lines are based on race, color, or religion. Space or distance is more important as a factor of separation than differences of occupation or culture for rural people. Rural minds are always related by religious life contradictory to urban that constantly bears every kind of religion or none at all. Religion affects how people think and for the rural people, their mental attitude. Country churches are often dull since those preachers on their places are poorly inexperienced and also are the victims of circumstances and in many instances are forced to accept what no one else wants. A mental type is then unconsciously developed in the country side which is different from that in the city. When the rural men grows up with an idea that country people must be contented with what urbanites do not want, it is difficult for him to uphold that hostile and optimistic mentality which is so necessary to great success. Since the church is the most powerful binding force in rural communities, everyone became remorse to everything they do. They are always conscious on how other people would think of them that every person is aware of everyones movements, a different viewpoint among anyone else. Also, rural minds are in the lower hand since they have inferior educational opportunities. In a typical rural community, it is a relief if theres a kindergarten, elementary school and a high school, with high school being the highest educational attainment if there arent vocational course offerings. However, not all of this can be found in a rural community and the worst parts of not having complete educational locusts are substandard facilities and even inexperienced teachers. The country teachers were usually young and most of them taught but a year or two. If they remained in the work longer, the small town and the city needed them, and the successful ones went to town, got married, or did some other work instead of continuing as country school teachers. Urban areas are always on top of the educational budgetary ladder. Even with a progress, the rural-school curriculum still fails to function perfectly and to correlate the content of courses with the actual experiences of the child in his rural environment. This leads to rural illiteracy in some cases. In terms of political views, rural minds are very easily inclined. Every election, those elected as barangay officials are always those familiar to everyone, familiar in the sense that it gives them offerings such as kilos of rice and money itself, Php 500 at most. Vote buying in constitutional terms but this is how rural gives credit to politician. Those that can give them and help them when they are need and those who can offer them something for their need are the ones that will victor to their ballots in the end.

Rural social mind is also greatly affected by economic relations. The factors of production come together in the farmer, who is landlord, capitalist, laborer, and manager in a single person. Meaning, the head of the average rural household is his own employer. The average rural worker has not acquired the habit of taking orders from anybody in his daily living and he doesnt simply fall into the habit of taking orders from anybody. It is usually supposed that rural communities have the higher moral standards. They live close to nature and with this they prosper. Nature sets the standards on how people will treat others. Nature is relative to peace and sanctity. This gives people a better disposition of their well beings. Security with regards to knowing everyone in the vicinity and being friends with all your neighbors whom you can count on in terms of need are all rural treats. Wait, it is really obvious that Im in favor in rural right? The actual reason is that I belong to this community. I was raised in a simple barangay at the foot of Mt. Makiling. I grew up living with trees, corn fields and farm animals of our neighbor farmer. At times, I went to nearby forest with my friends and other kin to fetch some woods and other stuffs that were needed. We also play hideand-seek in these locations. Everyone is at peace here. As a kid, living in a rural community was the best thing Id get. There were no hazards beside from unanticipated events such as wild animal encounters. Problems werent really that noticeable and plausible to our simple ears. But as I grow older, noticeable needs arent that reachable. So, the place Im living that was always simple became industrialized. Geothermal plants can be found in our place courtesy of Chevron Inc. Also, located in our place are different industries and factories, even the NPC site. Our barangay is a true example of a jump from rural to urban, a place that used to have something but in need of everything. However, poverty is still inevitable in the rural areas with regard to urban slums as mentioned earlier. The truck farmer near the large center of population, the dairy farmer dwelling close to cities, the live-stock producer, and the grain grower shall have farms varying in average size; they all give everything but gain not so much as they were supposed in urban terms. It is equally expected that the mental responses in each group will also be discernible because of the differences in land sizes. The ratio of labor income to property income is likely to differ. This difference will give one person an interest in increases of labor income, even though it reduces property income, and another an interest in whatever increases property income, even though it should reduce labor income. Rural poverty is the most prominent disadvantage amongst rural communities. It affects nearly a billion of worlds population making it widespread. Most urban slums nowadays have rural backgrounds implicating that theres a functional relationship between urban and rural poverty.

Rural poor lives everywhere that is often associated with the minority and ethnic groups. Income is the most important criterion in determining who is poor. It means being poorly educated and having limited educational opportunities. They are likely to be unemployed or underemployed and are especially handicapped in finding jobs because of the lack of skills necessary. They are poor in health by not having proper diets, nutritious consumptions and professional medical assistance. They tend to have higher birth rates especially for slums since sex is their past time. Another question then popped out in my mind. How can we solve this problem on rural poverty/poor? Many agendas are done to diminish it. Examples are the following: Developing new agricultural lands wherein all the needs to produce crops can be found Off-farm employment which requires nontechnical jobs to absorb the excess agricultural labor Relocation of other rural dwellers to places with better opportunities Institutional integration of different institutions in a community Upgrade of technology especially the mechanization of agriculture Better educational facilities and language proficiency

Other social problems involved in rural communities that also/somewhat lead to a common denominator, poverty, are the ff: Rural housing Rural job opportunities Rural industry Rural health Rural old people Ineffectual local government Natural resource development

Most important problems with respect to land is that of bringing it under cultivation and use. It is sometimes said to be the problem of getting the landless man on the manless land. Irrigation must also be developed on a large scale. For that reason the individual settler is helpless except in a few favorable instances where a small ditch may supply him with the needed water. Another major group of ruralites are the peasants which Ive discuss a bit before. They are the majority of mankind yet poorly understood. According to Karl Marx, they are the undecipherable hieroglyphic to the understanding of the civilized. Peasants are subsistence agricultural producers and traditionally-oriented rural villagers who are often self-sufficient. Peasants and subsistence farmer are interchangeable terms but theyre not pure subsistence or survival type since theyre often at least partly market-oriented and purchase some consumer or producer goods and services. Limited understanding and insight of them cause many developmental failures.

The major portion of peasants strictly found in less-developed countries. These countries are the cities of the poor lacking almost every essential need that can be found in rich/developed countries, from nutrition and health to occupational needs. India, Africa, Latin America, Philippines and other parts of Asia are the tangible examples. These are the major study of every social scientists in the world since constitute a large number of population, largest single-occupational category in todays world, are key in a foodworsening imbalance, and disproportions in per capita income and level of living. They are very important in development of a nation, per se. So right now, what is the rural worlds function? Rural populations and agriculturally-inclined nations have specialized in the production of human material, producing more than what is necessary to maintain their biological balance. They are also the source of health and vitality made by possible by the development of cultural standards and proclivity to nature. They have specialized in the food production and raw materials also for the urban benefits. They have tended to concentrate efforts on their social organization of individuals for the balance in both worlds. And in some respects, they are the ones with the principal role of preserving cultural values and firmly establishing the Gestalt (a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts) of a particular culture. Language, religious beliefs, forms of art and literature, political, economic and social institutions, folk ways, marriage, and family customs when uniquely combined together preserves a national culture complex for everyone to admire. For the betterment of rural ites/people/population/communities/world, there are four important processes that must be involved. First is communication, then decision-making, boundary maintenance and social-cultural linkage. Communication is the process by which information, decisions, and directives pass through a social system, and ways in which knowledge, opinions, and attitudes are formed and modified. It can be carried thru mass media e.g. radio, television, films and the web, and through person-to-person contact means. Decision-making is the process whereby alternate courses of action available are reduced. It is where ideas and thoughts are jumbled into considerable whereabouts for further consideration. Strategies that involve decision-making are of allocation of effort, facilities, and personnel to maximize the needed possibilities of an organization. Boundary maintenance is the process wherein the system retains its identity and interaction pattern, preserving its equilibrium involving both the integration and solidarity of the said system. Lastly, social-cultural linkage refers to the process by which at least two systems come to be articulated so they can function as a single unit. It usually requires value orientation and

the social structure of change agent system. This also involves imitation wherein proposed or advocated changes are into attention; legitimation is where the proposed system is made rightful; and execution where the social-cultural linkage is put into effect. If all take into effect, what must be done must be done. In the first place, we study rural sociology to understand the rural situation in our country and how to help them on the change and their social problems. We cant blame urbanization for causing so much trouble to the rural people since we all want change but that is why were here studying them. With all the trouble that rural has been to for the past decades, why cant our government help them or rather aid them? Other countries have done the entire needed job to not obliterate but give them a proper position and resolution in the society they have. Are they really that blind in the needs of the poor? The agricultural sector? Peasants in the different corners of the country? Will it always be a matter of letting the disadvantages succumb their beings. Theyre not helpless, mind you. But they are in need of a helping hand not to advance but continue living for the sake of a balanced society. As far as my writing is concerned, understanding them isnt enough if actions arent taken into considerations.

Lindquist, G. A., & Carver, T. N. (1997). Principles of Rural Sociology. Boston: Ginn and Company. Loomis, C. P., & Beegle, J. A. (1957). Rural Scoiology The Strategy of Change. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Rogers, E. M., & Burdge, R. J. (1972). Social Change in Rural Societies (2nd ed.). New Jersey: PrenticeHall, Inc. Sorokin, P. A., Zimmerman, C. C., & Garpin, C. J. (1965). A Systematic Source Book in Rural Sociology. New York: Russell & Russell.