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Rural Families

Pace And Rhythm Of Rural Life

One constant of rural regions and one continuing attraction for urban-to-rural migrant families is the slower pace and the rural rhythm of life. Rural families have traditionally lived at a slower pace than that of urbanites. Centers of life continue to be the village marketplace (whether that is a farmer's market, an African marketplace bazaar, a flea market, or a town square); the town café or eating place; and the sports arena (Friday night football in the United States, sandlot soccer in Mexico, or the frozen pond in Canada and the northern rural United States). Rural families continue to live closer to the land, to nature, and to the changing seasons. The rhythm of rural life has a slower beat, and involves different sensations: aromas, textures (newmown hay), and sounds. Rural families are more likely to pause and listen to the sounds of dogs barking, roosters crowing, nightingales or parrots or owl sounds.

Whether rural families retain more quality time to spend together is up for debate. Certainly Nintendo and Saturday morning cartoons courtesy of satellite dishes have reached even the remotest rural areas. But family farming activities and family outdoor activities (family hog and calf raising as 4-H and Future Farmers of America [FFA] activities, for example) continue to be cherished activities among rural families.

In summary, the definitions of rural families have been evolving over many generations. A global perspective on families who live in rural areas must consider the wide diversity that is found from region to region and nation to nation. Issues of poverty, gender, and social justice for rural populations are issues that must not be overlooked when examining international rural families. Resilience—an incredible ability to survive against odds—continues to be the constant and defining feature among rural families.


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Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsRural Families - Defining Rurality, Changes In Rural Life, Poverty And Economic Struggle, Changes In Gender Roles