Concepts of Rurality and Urbanity as Analytical Categories in Multidimensional Research

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Concepts of Rurality and Urbanity as Analytical Categories in Multidimensional Research

This paper is a review of the concepts of rurality and urbanity and of various approaches to their differentiation. The author reviews the continuum and dichotomy of rurality and urbanity and the challenges that occur when seeking to differentiate between them. The author has reviewed the descriptive approach, which is based on empirical data, as well as the social approach, which is based on various social agents and different ways of perceiving space. The author has evaluated various approaches to studying rural-urban separation, focusing on the challenges that are created by contemporary developments in society. New forms of populated areas are emerging, and they do not correspond to this binary separation. Both rural and urban areas are becoming increasingly multidimensional and interactions between them more intensive. "Urban" and "rural" are abstractions and metaphors that are needed to ensure human communications which enables the bridging of knowledge from one area of science or politics to another. That is particularly relevant for interdisciplinary research such as spatial and environmental studies. In the conclusion, the author reviews the way in which rurality and urbanity are studied by researchers in Latvia.

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