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The Urban-Rural Dichotomy: Concepts and Uses

Charles T. Stewart, Jr.
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 64, No. 2 (Sep., 1958), pp. 152-158
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2773684
Page Count: 7
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The Urban-Rural Dichotomy: Concepts and Uses
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Abstract

The demographic distinction between urban and rural in terms of residential population has limited value. With increased local mobility, social and economic space no longer coincides with residence. For economic purposes employment is the relevant criterion. Concentrations of employment are urban places. Types of employment determine the character of settlements, and the amount of nucleated employment measures their economic size. No such simple index exists for sociocultural purposes. Two criteria are examined; the folk-urban continuum is rejected, and the social network map is found valuable as a structural framework, whose content must be adapted to the particular cultural milieu.

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