Rural sociology became a recognized field of study at MU when the Rural Life Program within the Department of Agricultural Economics was founded in 1919. MU has offered formal course work in rural sociology since 1921. Rural sociologists have made some of the most important intellectual contributions to our understanding of society. As early as 1911, rural sociologists worked to identify the factors that contributed to identification with and attachment to community in isolated rural areas. Later, rural sociologists documented the diffusion processes by which farmers, consumers and rural households adopt new technologies. In addition, rural sociologists have been central figures in international development work for more than 40 years.

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