On the Rural

Economy, Sociology, Geography

2022
Author:

Henri Lefebvre
Stuart Elden and Adam David Morton, Editors
Translated by Robert Bononno

A collection of previously untranslated writings by Henri Lefebvre on rural sociology, situating his research in relation to wider Marxist work

Stuart Elden and Adam David Morton present Lefebvre’s key works on rural questions, including the first half of his book Du rural à l’urbain and supplementary texts. On the Rural reveals the production of the rural as a key site of capitalist development and as a space of struggle.

On the Rural is the first English collection to translate Lefebvre’s crucial but lesser-known writings on rural sociology and political economy, presenting a wide-ranging approach to understanding the historical and rural sociology of precapitalist social forms, their endurance today, and conditions of dispossession and uneven development.

In On the Rural, Stuart Elden and Adam David Morton present Lefebvre’s key works on rural questions, including the first half of his book Du rural à l’urbain and supplementary texts, two of which are largely unknown conference presentations published outside France. On the Rural offers methodological orientations for addressing questions of economy, sociology, and geography by deploying insights from spatial political economy to decipher the rural as a terrain and stake of capitalist transformation. By doing so, it reveals the production of the rural as a key site of capitalist development and as a space of struggle.

This volume delivers a careful translation—supplemented with extensive notes and a substantive introduction—to cement Lefebvre’s central contribution to the political economy of rural sociology and geography.

Henri Lefebvre was a noted Marxist sociologist and philosopher whose writings on urbanism and space have been widely influential. His books include The Production of Space and (all from Minnesota) The Urban Revolution; State, Space, World: Selected Essays; Dialectical Materialism; and Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment.

Stuart Elden is professor of political theory and geography at the University of Warwick. He is the author of numerous books, including Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty (Minnesota, 2009) and The Birth of Territory.

Adam David Morton is professor of political economy at the University of Sydney. He is the author of various books, including Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development and Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis (with Andreas Bieler).

Robert Bononno has been a translator from French for more than twenty years. His recent nonfiction translations include Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment, by Henri Lefebvre, and Speech Begins after Death, by Michel Foucault and Claude Bonnefoy (both from Minnesota).

Contents

From the Rural to the Urban and the Production of Space

Stuart Elden and Adam David Morton

Notes on Translation

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction to From the Rural to the Urban (1969)

2. Problems of Rural Sociology: The Peasant Community and its Historical-Sociological Problems (1949)

3. Social Classes in Rural Areas: Tuscany and the mezzadria classica (1950)

4. Perspectives on Rural Sociology (1953)

5. Social Relations, Population Phenomena, and Labor Problems in the Agricultural Sector of Underdeveloped Countries (1954)

6. The Village Community (1956)

7. The Theory of Ground Rent and Rural Sociology (1956)

8. The Marxist–Leninist Theory of Ground Rent (1964)

9. Introduction to the Psychosociology of Everyday Life (1960)

10. The New Urban Complex: Lacq-Mourenx and the Urban Problems of the New Working Class (1960)

11. Experimental Utopia: For a New Urbanism (1961)

12. The Valley of Campan: A Study in Historical Sociology (1963)

Publication History

Index