International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Rural Development and Environment in the Municipality of Celaya, Mexico. A Sociological Approach
Alberto Valdés Cobos

In this paper, the social construction of rural development and the environment (urban sprawl and water issues) is addressed through a qualitative methodology that makes use of key informant interviews (businesspeople, the media, academics, university rectors, among others) in the municipality of Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. There is a social dimension to rural development processes and/or environmental problems. Namely, the lack of basic services in rural communities, the lack of organization of farmers, the urban sprawl into agricultural areas, overexploitation of groundwater, air pollution, loss of biodiversity or inefficient solid waste management, for example, have the same status of reality than those emerging from its physical dimension. From this perspective, a problem may have a physical existence, but if it is not socially perceived and accepted as such, it ends up being socially irrelevant. Sociological reflection of the complexity of rural development or the environment seeks to explain the social mechanisms that enable certain real issues to acquire a special sense and meaning that makes them appear in the public arena. We conclude that individuals, media, and social groups of various political leanings interact, negotiate, and reconstruct one or more versions of the definition and meaning that accompany the processes of rural development and the environment.

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