Publication Details

Gorman-Murray, A. W., Darian-Smith, K. & Gibson, C. R. (2008). Scaling the rural: reflections on rural cultural studies. Australian Humanities Review, 45 (November), 37-52.


How can cultural analysis be brought to bear on the rural? This central question for rural cultural studies prompts our exploration of how the rural has been delineated and interpreted in the developed West, as a departure for thinking about new intellectual approaches to rurality that span spaces, times and academic disciplines. In this paper we adopt a broad schema, discussing insights from rural studies, cultural geography and history. As Michael Woods ( Rural Geography ) has handily pointed out, 'rural' is

one of those curious words which everyone thinks they know what it means, but which is actually very difficult to define precisely. Attempts by academics to define and delimit rural areas and rural societies have always run into problems, sometimes because the distinctions they have drawn have been rather arbitrary, sometimes because they have over-emphasised the differences between city and country, and sometimes because they have under-emphasised the diversity of the countryside. (15, emphasis added)

Link to publisher version (URL)

Australian Humanities Review