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Rural Areas Development - Essay Example

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The means livelihood of the rural population in the developed world has substantially altered by the forces of globalisation and corresponding integration of the world economy. The migration of the urban workers who are however embedded in the urban lifestyles and cultures, to the rural areas is one of the primary factors that bring consumerist culture into the countryside.
Cloke asserts that "consumption demands are the driving force of change in the countryside and its rural economy" (Cloke 2006. p.125). Also, the market for rural amenity products has strengthened in an unprecedented manner along with the global intensification of the market network which is intensified by the free market policies of the governments in the Global North.
Traditionally, agriculture has been the stronghold of the rural economy even in the advanced countries. Even in countries like the UK, agriculture and related businesses was the mainstay of the rural economy. However, the reality is that, historically speaking, rural economy was not constituted by agriculture alone as it is misconceived by many. A variety of economic functions had been taking place on the rural spaces for time immemorial. From 18th century onwards, Woods (2005) indicates that urban wealth and capital has been exported to rural areas, which is capable of altering the rural geography in a high pace. Landowners in the rural areas used to use their land for non-agricultural purposes such as hunting, entertainment and timber sale. The particularities of the World War II situation were the factors that laid heavy impact on the agricultural production in the rural areas. The amenity lobby too emerged following the profound changes brought about by World War II.
The fact is that productive jobs have paved way for service jobs. This fact alone shows that the rural economy of consumption is well under its stage of emergence. Tourism related industries and restaurants and pubs do employ a considerable number of people and thereby catalysing the shift towards consumption economy. No villages could said to be autonomous in the realm of either production or consumption. The exports from the countryside to the town is not considerably higher than the import vice versa. Slee points out that for instance "in the former Badenoch and Strathspey district of Highland region of Scotland, direct tourism employment accounts for over a third of the total workforce" (Slee, 2004, p.5). Having an economy dominated by tourism sector clearly implies that consumption is the de facto rule of the economic interactions. Furthermore, Slee asserts that "tourism is equally important to the Cotswold economy" (Slee, 2004, p.5). Tourism related commuting too have a great impact over the turn of rural economy from production to consumption.
Moreover, Slee indicates that the farm sector itself is by and large depended upon the earnings from the non-farm sector, Exemplifying this point, Slee shows that "the decision to close off ...Show more


In twenty first century, the rural areas in the developed world have undergone tremendous changes, especially in the economic sector. The importance of primary sector in the rural economy of public sector has progressively declined since the end of the World War II…
Author : gusikowskitierr
Rural Areas Development
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