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Prairie PatrimonyFamily, Farming, and Community in the Midwest$
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Sonya Salamon

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780807845530

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469611181_Salamon

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Community Personality

Community Personality

Chapter:
(p.226) Ten Community Personality
Source:
Prairie Patrimony
Author(s):

Sonya Salamon

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807845530.003.0011

This chapter describes how rural society has undergone a fundamental restructuring due to diminishing numbers of rural residents between 1950 and 1980, from 15.3 percent to being only 2 percent of the total United States population. As farms consolidated, fewer workers were needed to produce the same or more agricultural products, and rural residents were lured by nonfarm opportunities in urban America. A decline in farm family size also contributed to shrinking rural populations. These trends meant fewer families with children to fill country schools or customers to patronize rural businesses. When school systems consolidated, churches merged, or village businesses closed, rural communities lost crucial integrating institutions. Under these same economic and social circumstances some Midwestern rural communities maintained vitality while others deteriorated.

Keywords:   rural society, fundamental restructuring, rural residents, agricultural products, nonfarm opportunities, urban America

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