chapter  8
26 Pages

Citizenship, rurality and environment

The etymology of citizenship refers to the inhabitants of urban areas and, more precisely, the city-states of the ancient world (Woods 2006a; Cheshire and Woods 2009). Over time the meaning of the word has broadened to include those who do not live in cities but, predominantly, studies of citizenship have tended to focus on urban citizenship. Recently, rural citizenship warranted entries in the International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography (Cheshire and Woods 2009) and The Handbook of Rural Studies (Woods 2006a), suggesting, perhaps, that it is somehow distinguishable from more general forms and geographies of citizenship. This reflects wider debate about the distinctiveness of rural society and whether it is significantly different to urban life (Woods 2011b).