1st Edition

Rural Youth at the Crossroads Transitional Societies in Central Europe and Beyond

    250 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Featuring chapters by an international group of scholars and academics, Rural Youth at the Crossroads discusses the challenges and contexts facing youth from rural communities in countries with legacies of socialism undergoing social, political, and economic transition.

    The chapters employ a variety of sources and approaches to examine rural youth outcomes, and the well-being and sustainability of rural areas. The book focuses particularly on career and educational goals, the often contradictory relations between rural schools and communities, majority-minoritized group relations, community engagement, and political attitudes. Individual chapters examine these questions and dynamics within Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Vietnam. In total the volume represents a unique and timely comparative discussion of the relationship between youth and rural development within transitional societies, and the challenges and opportunities for enhancing the well-being and sustainability of rural communities.

    Aimed at informing strategies to revitalize rural social space, this book is targeted towards social scientists with interest in sociology and rural sociology, demography, education, youth development, community/regional development, rurality, public policy, and identity formation in transitional contexts. As such, this book will have international appeal to researchers, educators, and policymakers in transitional countries, and to those interested in these topics, regions, and communities.

    Introduction: Rural Youth and Societies within Post-Socialist and Transitional Contexts

    Annie Maselli, Kai A. Schafft, Sanja Stanić, and Renata Horvatek

    1. Leaving the Croatian Countryside: Local Context and Rural Youth Aspirations

    Sanja Stanić and Kai A. Schafft

    2. Uneven Demographic Development within Croatia, 1950s-present: Implications for Rural Quality of Life and Youth Out-Migration

    Sanja Klempić Bogadi and Sonja Podgorelec

    3. Rural Youth and School-Based Political Socialization: The Case of Croatia

    Renata Horvatek

    4. Sociocultural Capital Among Rural Youth in Croatia

    Marija Lončar, Zorana Šuljug Vučica, and Gorana Bandalović

    5. Coming of Age in the Czech Countryside: Life and Educational Transition Contexts for Rural Youth

    Dominik Dvořák, Silvie R. Kučerová, Jaroslava Simonová, Petr Meyer, Zdeněk Kučera, and Jan Šmíd

    6. The Contradictions of Education in Russia: Resilient and Struggling Schools in the Context of Rural Depopulation and Decline

    Roman Zvyagintsev, Marina Pinskaya, David Konstantinovskiy, and Sergey Kosaretsky

    7. The Case of Serbia: The Orientations of Rural Young Adults Towards Education, Work, and Emigration

    Dušan Mojić, Irena Petrović, and Vera Backović

    8. Diverse Migration Processes of Rural Youth and Young Adults in Hungary

    Tibor Farkas, Emese Bruder, Dóra Kolta, and Ilona Gerencsér

    9. Roma Youth and On-the-Ground Implementation of Roma Education Policies in Rural Romania

    Codrina Csesznek and Kai A. Schafft

    10. Vietnamese Youth, Schools, and Communities in Transition: A Decade after the Administrative Boundary Extension of Hanoi

    Chi Nguyen

    Conclusion: Rural People and Places in Transitional Societies: Leaning into an Uncertain Future

    Sanja Stanić, Renata Horvatek, Kai A. Schafft, and Annie Maselli


    Kai A. Schafft is a professor of education and rural sociology at The Pennsylvania State University in the United States. His work focuses on the relationship between social and spatial inequalities and the relationship between the well-being of rural schools and the communities they serve. In 2015, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Central European University’s Institute for Advanced Study, in Budapest, Hungary.

    Sanja Stanić is a professor of sociology at the University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, in Croatia. She has published one book and over 30 scientific articles and book chapters. Her research interests are in the sociology of space, children and youth, and consumption.

    Renata Horvatek received her Ph.D. in educational theory and policy with a dual title in comparative and international education at The Pennsylvania State University in the United States, where she currently works in the Office of Global Programs. Her research interests in youth political socialization stems from her own education and upbringing in Croatia, growing up during turbulent social transitions and events. Her other interests include minority education and citizenship formation in post-conflict societies.

    Annie Maselli is a doctoral candidate in education policy studies at The Pennsylvania State University in the United States. Having worked in schools across the globe, her research interests include the relationship among place, equity, and education and issues of educational access and spatial justice. Serving as a research affiliate with the Center on Rural Education and Communities, she is particularly interested in how rural schools can address issues of social inequity and community development.