Rural Interest Group



Volume 51 Number 2 
Spring 2018

Rural Interest Group

Edited by Susana Helm, PhD, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa,, Cheryl Ramos, PhD and Suzanne Phillips, PhD

The Rural IG column of The Community Psychologist highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologists, students, and colleagues in their rural environments. Please email Susana if you would like to submit a brief rural report for publication in this column, or if you have resources we may list here.

In this issue, we would like to welcome Dr. Melissa Cianfrini to our leadership team. Melissa will be leading the development of the Rural content for the soon-to-be-launched website. Melissa is a 2016 graduate of the community psychology program of Curtin University. Her thesis explored the impact of the mining boom on regional communities in Western Australia, with a focus on skill shortages and labour migration. The research explored the relational capital and paradoxes embedded at all levels of community, drawing attention to government's policy of applying economic solutions to social problems ( Melissa currently is working at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia. Our inaugural Rural feature for the new SCRA website will showcase the work of Professor Cheryl Ramos, Rural IG co-chair. Please contact Melissa if you would like your rural work showcased on the website in the future (

Rural Resources

For the past 25 years, the Journal of Rural Studies ( has been publishing interdisciplinary and global research in the areas of “contemporary rural societies, economies, cultures and lifestyles; the definition and representation of rurality; the formulation, implementation and contestation of rural policy; and human interactions with the rural environment.”

  • The August 2017 issue included a special section on the digital divide, a topic that has been in the US national news recently, as net neutrality may be dismantled with dire consequences for widening the rural digital divide.

The October 2016 issue highlighted The Rural as a dimension of environmental justice. The special section editors made the case against the “tyranny of the majority” because it allows the degradation of The Rural through “taking and dumping,” “utilitarian thinking,” and “minority burden, and majority benefit” positionality (Ashwood & MacTavish, 2016; pp 271-272). The collection of articles aims to disable rural targeting and rural othering, and instead reposition The Rural as a central aspect of the environmental justice discourse.