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Writing Off the Rural West

Globalization, Governments and the Transformation of Rural Life

book-inline-writing-off-the-rural-west.jpgSome of the most intense effects of globalization can be seen in rural communities. Despite a booming world economy, resource towns and farming communities have been hard hit by recent international trade agreements. Indeed, these places have paid the price for our overall national prosperity.

Writing Off the Rural West looks at the changes unfolding in the Canadian countryside. When commentators on the national stage question the continuing viability of our rural communities – centres that were lauded for their contributions only a few years ago – they reveal not only a profound lack of understanding, but a crisis of faith in these places and the people who call them home.

This collection reveals the situation in rural Canada in a new light; but more than that, it shows us that the ability to renew our rural communities remains within our grasp if we have the will to do so. 

Praise for Writing Off the Rural West:

"Writing Off the Rural West is to be strongly recommended as reading for anyone interested in learning more about how communities in rural Canada are responding to the powerful external forces buffeting them. It is rendered more valuable by the breadth of expertise of its contributors and the wealth of case studies it incorporates. I have no doubt that I shall be dipping into this book frequently over the coming months for illustrations of the modern rural transformations throughout western Canada."
- Guy M. Robinson, British Journal of Canadian Studies

"This edited volume by Roger Epp and Dave Whitson on the transformation of community in the rural west presents an interesting picture of the effects of globalization on rural places....This book would be perfectly appropriate for an upper-level undergraduate class in geography, rural sociology, or a course on globalization."
-- The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology

"In Writing Off the Rural West, Roger Epp and Dave Whitson, two Alberta political scientists, have gathered together a collection of essays that either directly examine the exodus from the rural West or put it into the wider context of globalization. The result is a thought-provoking look at the past, present, and futures of Western Canada's heartland."
-- Alberta Views

Writing Off the Rural West is available from Parkland Institute. Contact us for details.

Photo credit: Wilson Hui under a Creative Commons licence

David Whitson

Dave Whitson is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alberta. His research interests for much of his career focused on sports and leisure, and he is co-author of Hockey Night in Canada: Sports, Identities, and Cultural Politics.

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Roger Epp

Roger Epp is professor of political science at the University of Alberta, where he has also served in a number of senior leadership roles, including that of founding dean of the University's Augustana Campus in Camrose. Much of his writing has explored what it means to live as a multi-generational settler in the prairie West – on Treaty 6 land – with a sense of memory, inheritance and care. Those explorations include the books We Are All Treaty People: Prairie Essays (2008) and Writing Off the Rural West (2001), the latter in association with Parkland, as well as a documentary for CBC Radio’s Ideas. He was an invited honorary witness at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. A former newspaper journalist, his work has appeared in such diverse periodicals as the Western Producer, the Edmonton Journal, and The Globe and Mail. He is a former member of the Parkland Institute board.

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