Change in Rural Appalachia

Change in Rural Appalachia

Implications for Action Programs

Anniversary Collection

Edited by John D. Photiadis and Harry K. Schwarzweller

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

284 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9780812276183
  • Published: March 1971



Appalachia is a region in trouble. Even in the more remote coves and hollows, major social and economic changes are disturbing the traditional ways of life. The conditions which have made it a pocket of poverty cannot be easily eradicated; and the rapid changes of recent years have added further severe problems of adjustment which deeply affect the family, church life, education, the folk sub­culture, and, above all, the individual. Out­migration, psychological dislocation, and cultural alienation are the result.

The nine contributing scholars have lived and worked in Appalachia; they know the people and their customs, their problems and their needs. They are thoroughly familiar with the programs now in operation, and are well qualified to evaluate their success or failure in terms of those needs. Furthermore, their findings can be applied to other regions and nations, wherever an isolated group has been abruptly incorporated into the mainstream of society while many of its peculiar problems remain unsolved. Rural Appalachia may in fact be considered a microcosm of the underdeveloped nations of the world; the issues raised here far transcend the importance of a regional study.

The essays are grouped according to four general areas of research. The first part deals with the individual in his society; the second with six social institutions—economy, government, family, religion, education, and power structure; the third with methods and objectives of change; and the fourth with the aims of change agencies, particularly the Extension Service of the future. As the tangle of problems, strains, and tensions is explored, the focus remains steadily upon immediate and long­term effects on the individual.

The book is dedicated to "the professional field workers in programs of directed change . . . struggling on the one hand with ideas, theories, and conceptual innovations, and on the other hand with the immediate realities of the local situations."