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Rural Sociology

Tractor in a field with people behind the tractor

About Rural Sociology Research at WSU

Rural Sociology, a subfield of sociology, is the study of the social structures and processes associated with rural societies domestically and internationally. Rural sociologists engage in research, outreach, and teaching related to rural demography, community development, environmental sociology, natural resource sociology, and the sociology of agriculture and food systems, among other topics. The work of rural sociologists is both theoretically informed and action-oriented, seeking to address real-world problems facing rural communities. The field of Rural Sociology originated in the United States and has close ties to land-grant university colleges of agriculture.


Jessica Goldberger

Jessica Goldberger

I specialize in the sociology of agriculture and food systems. My research focuses primarily on agricultural knowledge, science, and technology. I am interested in the sources of agricultural knowledge; the adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations; and the ways in which agricultural beliefs, choices, and practices affect community well-being, sustainability, rural quality of life, food security, and the environment.