The RSS is a professional social science association that promotes the generation, application, and dissemination of sociological knowledge. The Society seeks to enhance the quality of rural life, communities, and the environment. This website is intended to serve all those interested in rural people and places.



At the meeting of the outgoing RSS Council on 7 August, 2016 and again at the RSS Business Meeting on 9 August, 2016 voice votes indicated strong support for the adoption of a code of ethics for the Society. In so doing the RSS has affirmed its collective aspiration to adhere to ethical principles as set forth, for example, in the Code of Ethics of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The ASA identifies five general principles: Professional Competence; Integrity: Professional and Scientific Responsibility; Respect for People’s Rights, Dignity and Diversity; and Social Responsibility.

Please see the ASA Code of Ethics at Here you can see a narrative description of each of these five principles, a detailed list of ethical standards, and a mechanism through which alleged violations of the code can be submitted, evaluated and adjudicated.

At the 10 August meeting of the incoming RSS Council, Council charged RSS President-Elect Doug Jackson-Smith and an ad hoc subset of the RSS Council with the task of drafting a code of ethics for the RSS, using the ASA’s code as a point of departure, but using the codes followed by other kindred associations as appropriate.

While there will be a formal period during which RSS members will be invited to provide inpput, comments on this matter can be submitted at any time to Doug Jackson-Smith at Of course, should any adoption of an RSS code of ethics require a change to the RSS Bylaws or Constitution, proper membership voting procedures will be followed. 

NEW Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America brief

by RSS Member Shannon M. Monnat

Brief No. 02-16

Hispanic Health Insurance Rates Differ between Established and New Hispanic Destinations.  To read the entire brief


Tom Rudel President
Doug Jackson-Smith President-elect
Spencer Wood Secretary
Leif Jensen Past- President
Kathryn Brasier Vice President
Cynthia Struthers Executive Director
Chelsea Schelly Awards & Endowment
Shannon Monnat Development
Jesse Thompson Diversity
Jessica Ulrich-Schad Membership
Danielle Berman Publications
Mary Hendrickson Program
Kristi Lekies Program
Raeven Chandler Student
Jamiko Delveaux Student
Jennifer Sherman Council Rep. A
Jessica Crowe Council Rep. B
Tom Gray Council Rep. C








Rural Studies Series in the News -August 21, 2016

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail

WV Book Team: Series explores neoliberal agri-food in Japan

By Abby Freeland

West Virginia University Press publishes the “Rural Studies Series,” which promotes the scholarly analysis of rural social issues.  The series plays a vital role in publishing high-quality scholarship aimed at improving the lives of rural people…Sponsored by the Rural Sociological Society, the Rural Studies Series features books on a wide range of topics related to rural social issue. To read the complete article

The fourth book in the series is “The Contradictions of Neoliberal Agri-food: Corporations, Resistance, and Disasters in Japan” is authored by Kae Sekine and Alessandro Bonanno. For more information about the series

Thank you to all who made our 2016 Annual Meeting such a success!

Please join us in Columbus, Ohio – July 27-30, 2017 for our 80th annual meeting.

Columbus Skyline 09207_hr

Student Paper Awards at the 2016 Annual Meeting:

Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award
Pierce Greenberg, Washington State University

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Research and Interest Group
Student Paper Award
Annabel Ipsen, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Natural Resources Research and Interest Group
Student Paper Award
Patrick Greiner, University of Oregon

Student Travel Award
Annabel Ipsen, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Community, Health, and Family Research and Interest Group
Ronald Wimberley Graduate Student Paper
Anne M. Cafer, University of Missouri

Other Research and Interest Group Awards:

Natural Resources Research and Interest Group
William R. Freudenberg Award of Merit
Courtney Flint, Utah State University

Community, Health, and Family Research and Interest Group
Ralph Brown Faculty Paper Competition
Mildred E. Warner, Cornell University

Research and Interest Groups (RIGs) are formed around substantive interests of RSS members. RIGs are active participants in annual meeting planning and programming through identification, development, and recruitment for program sessions and field trips. RSS currently has 14 RIGs for members to choose from. 


Learn more about the Rural Sociological Society here