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Planning DemocracyAgrarian Intellectuals and the Intended New Deal$
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Jess Gilbert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207316

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207316.001.0001

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Reforming Social Science

Reforming Social Science

Participatory Action Research

(p.179) Chapter 8 Reforming Social Science
Planning Democracy

Jess Gilbert

Richard S. Kirkendall

Yale University Press

This chapter introduces the work of community delineation done by rural sociologists and land economists of the Division of Farm Population and Rural Welfare under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE). In the application of the sociological and participatory-democratic theories conferred by rural sociologists, the BAE initially organized a system of representation, wherein rural neighborhoods are represented by a community committee, and then local communities are represented by a county committee. Through an effective representation of social units, conflicting locality-based interests were brought together in order to develop collective solutions. The chapter also describes the actual implementation of the community delineation work to different rural counties.

Keywords:   community delineation, rural sociologists, Division of Farm Population and Rural Welfare, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, sociological theory, democratic theory

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