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  Areas which are dominated (either currently or recently) by extensive land uses such as agriculture or forestry, or by large open spaces of undeveloped land; which contain small, lower-order settlements demonstrating a strong relationship between buildings and surrounding extensive landscape, and which are perceived as rural by most residents; and which are thought to engender a way of life characterized by a cohesive identity based on respect for the environment, and behavioural qualities of living as part of an extensive landscape. In practice, rural areas vary considerably, from those which may still be defined functionally (by land use and geographical location) to those closer to urban centres where \'rural\' is more of a socially and culturally constructed and therefore contested category. (PJC)

Suggested Reading Cloke, P. and Park, C. 1985: Rural resource management. London: Croom Helm, ch. 1. Pratt, A. 1996. Rurality: loose talk or social struggle. Journal of Rural Studies 12: 69-78.



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