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71 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2003 Last revised: 2 Jan 2008

Debra Lyn Bassett

Southwestern Law School


Our society has a love-hate relationship with its rural communities. While revering rural areas as embodying the ultimate in quality of life, rural citizens are simultaneously denigrated as uneducated, backward, and unsophisticated. In this Article, Professor Bassett notes that our society's focus, its programs, its culture, and its standards are based on an urban assumption. This urban focus both overshadows and marginalizes rural dwellers. Professor Bassett argues that ruralism is a pervasive form of discrimination - largely unrecognized, unacknowledged, and unexamined - and one often impacting most harshly those individuals who already are subject to other forms of discrimination based on gender, class, and race.

Suggested Citation

Bassett, Debra Lyn, Ruralism. Iowa Law Review, Vol. 88, 2003; U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 01-12. Available at SSRN: or

Debra Lyn Bassett (Contact Author)

Southwestern Law School ( email )

3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States

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