Bridging Rural Sociology


Talis Tisenkopfs, Baltic Studies Centre and University of Latvia

Leo Dvortsin, University of Pisa, PhD candidate,

The rationale: In the conditions of ‘post normal’ science rural sociologists are tempted to build bridges to other disciplines, civil society organisations, businesses and governments to propose new ways of collaborative innovation and problem solving. Austerity measures and financial insecurity of social science trigger to this endeavour. Bridging becomes a key to survival, resilience and development of the discipline. It is the strategy for rural sociologists to modify their careers and for the young researchers to establish new career tracks.

Examples of bridging rural sociology could be:

  • Collaborative research projects;
  • Innovations in urban agriculture;
  • Organisation of civic food networks;
  • New businesses in farmers cooperation;
  • New ways of disseminating research results;
  • Linking actors for sustainable developmen
  • Taking roles of a scientific middle man and knowledge broker; and many more.

The purpose of Study Group is to share experiences and improve practices of bridging and linking rural sociology to other disciplines and stakeholders in the society.


  • Creating a community of practice of researchers interested in bridging sociology.
  • Creating a website for sharing experiences. The contents could include examples, short stories, method descriptions, personal observations, feedbacks, etc.
  • Developing a toolbox of bridging approaches and methods.
  • Streamlining of careers of young researchers through different bridging streams.