Is rural America going through a quiet revolution?
2 Apr 2024
Is rural America going through a quiet revolution?

Often stereotyped as a backward land of rage and rebellion, rural America is slowly challenging existing political, economic, and cultural narratives. How can brands tap into emerging shifts and provide rural Americans with nuanced messaging that resonates with their values and aspirations?

Becky McCray

Becky McCray is the co-founder of Watching global trends in economics, technology, and society, she delivers practical steps that rural people can implement to shape the future of their area. Her advice is based on her real-world experience as a lifelong entrepreneur and cattle rancher. She's the creator of Idea Friendly Method and Survey of Rural Challenges and co-author of the book Small Town Rules.

David L. Brown

Dr. David L. Brown is international professor of development sociology emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Although retired, Professor Brown maintains an active research focused on migration and population redistribution in the US. His work also examines population aging, the social organization of the urban-rural interface, the production and reproduction of social and economic inequalities between regions and rural vs. urban areas, and policies to lessen such inequalities. He authored numerous articles and books, including Rural Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation.

Jennifer Sherman

Dr. Jennifer Sherman is a professor of sociology at Washington State University. Her research examines the interactions of economic conditions, cultural norms, gender, and family outcomes, particularly in rural areas. She focuses on the intersections of poverty and inequality with structural conditions and community contexts, paying particular attention to symbolic boundaries based on moral understandings. Through qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews and ethnography, she has investigated issues facing families in a Northern California timber community, rural and urban communities in New England, and agricultural and tourism-dependent communities in the Pacific Northwest. She currently serves as president of the Rural Sociological Society.

Tom Novak

Tom Novak is a senior behavioral analyst at Canvas8. After completing his second master's degree in cultural sociology at LSE, he was drawn to cultural insight. Tom has conducted qualitative and ethnographic research from the plazas of Santiago to Coventry's suburbs. In his spare time, he can be seen rowing down the Thames or world-building around feminist science fiction.