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Photographic Observations on the Disorganization of Rural Communities
American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting (2006)
  • Kenneth D. Tunnell, Eastern Kentucky University

Across the globe, rural communities and small towns are undergoing fundamental and at times rapid change. Within some rural areas of the US, the decline of the family farm and the housing development of the country side race along. In addition, the Wal-Marting of rural America and the demise of locally owned businesses alter the small town landscape. Once-quaint hamlets are becoming vastly different places than of only a generation ago. This photo essay, focusing especially on the central Appalachian region of the US, visually describes these vast changes effecting rural communities and small towns. Photographs of defunct independent businesses and family farms (among others), document the demise and survival of rural communities. The loss of such local traditions and economies, population increases, the in-migration of the once urban or suburban, the growth in highways and traffic, and drug manufacturing and trafficking are indicative of social disorganization. Growing public problems and residents' political impotence indicate a lack of collective efficacy.

  • RURAL development,
  • HOUSING development,
  • FAMILY farms,
  • SOCIAL disorganization,
  • COMMUNITY change,
  • SOCIAL unrest
Publication Date
November, 2006
Citation Information
Kenneth D. Tunnell. "Photographic Observations on the Disorganization of Rural Communities" American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting (2006)
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