Rural Sociological Society

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The Rural Sociological Society (RSS), a professional association for rural sociologists in the United States, was officially established on December 29, 1937.[1] Before then, those interested in the discipline met as the Rural Sociology Section of the American Sociological Society, which later became the American Sociological Association. The meeting at which the formation of the RSS was approved had not started with that in mind. Rather, a committee of section members appointed previously presented a report that supported continued association with the parent organization, although one of the five members submitted a minority report calling for separation. After substantial discussion, a vote to establish a separate organization carried. That same day, a provisional constitution and by-laws were established by the founding RSS members; they still guide activities, although both have been amended through the years as membership and issues have changed.[2]

The decision to form the Rural Sociological Society in 1937 was not totally unexpected. Discussion of sponsoring an organization of rural sociologists occurred in the 1920s and was widespread in the mid-1930s. Indeed, concerns with opportunities to bring topics related to rural issues before larger audiences led to the publication of the first volume of the quarterly journal, Rural Sociology, in 1936. This had come about only because of the support of members of the Rural Sociology Section, both in terms of financing and editing; issues in the first two volumes had "Published by the Rural Sociology Section [of the] American Sociological Society" on the covers. That changed in 1938, when Rural Sociology became the official journal of the RSS; it has been published continuously since.

RSS was established in order to promote the development of rural sociology through teaching, research and extension. Its original members were active as early as 1920 as a section of the American Sociological Society (now known as the American Sociological Association). Membership in the RSS includes persons professionally employed in the field of rural sociology, or those interested in the objectives of the Society. RSS holds annual meetings in different locations every year.


  1. ^ "The Rural Sociological Society: Its Beginning," 6:331-340, 1986
  2. ^ "The RSS: Coming to Formalization," 6:407-420, 1986

Further reading[edit]

  • "The RSS: Ties that Bind," 7:3-18, 1987
  • "RSS During the Depression and World War II Years: 1937-1950," 7:154-165, 1987
  • "The RSS in Mid-Life: 1950-1962," 8:5-31, 1988
  • "The RSS: Reaching Outward and Inward, the 1960s and 1970s," 8:385-404, 1988

External links[edit]