Rural Sociology, relatively a new branch of Sociology, originated in the U.S.A nearly in 1820. From that period a good deal of literature had been produced about the new knowledge or Rural Sociology. But, actually a deep scientific study about Rural Society was started in the middle of the nineteenth century.
In that period, a new knowledge about modernisation was emerged and it was regarded as the ‘Age of Modernisation ‘in the history of mankind. Due to the deep influence of modernisation, a radical change took place in the different aspects of Rural Society.
As a result some eminent personalities like Charles Henderson of Chicago University, Butler Field of Michigan University, Earnest Burnholme of Michigan State College, John Moris Gillin of North Decota University, Martin H.Giddings of Columbia University, Themas Ninon Carver of Harvard University and so on have made their original contribution regarding the study and development of Rural Society.
But as a separate discipline of study Rural Sociology had not achieved its target till the beginning of the twentieth century. Roosevelt, then the President of United States of America was appointed the Country Life Commission in 1970. It was the landmark in the history of Rural Sociology.
The President was influenced in his decision to set up the Commission by Sir Horace Plunkett, who had observed the deterioration of rural life in Ireland. The main aim of the Country Life Commission was to study rural social problems and make recommendation for the development of rural life.
The report of this Commission was brought to the attention of sociologists and therefore a critical analysis was brought to the attention of sociologists and therefore a critical analysis was done on the attention of sociologists and therefore, a critical analysis was done on the topic “Rural Life” in the annual meeting of the American Sociological Society in 1912. G.M. Gillatee published his first book on Rural Society in 1916.
The first research studies on the rural community were probably certain Doctoral Dissertations at Columbia University under Professor Franklin Giddings. The Department of Rural Sociology was first set up by the American Sociology Society in 1917. Two years later, in 1919, a Rural Sociology Department was established under the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Dr. Charles J. Galpin of the University of Wisconsin was appointed as its head.
Its name later on was changed to Rural Population and Rural Life, Rural Sociological research develop still further with the encouragement of grants form the United States Department of Agriculture after 1919, when Galpin was appointed as the chief of the Division of From Population and Rural life.
A systematic source book on Rural Sociology was published in 1930 which opened the new face of the subject. A quarterly magazine titled Rural Sociology was published in 1936. In 1937, the Rural Sociological society was formed in America.
But the outbreak of Second World War and its devastative nature and adversely affected the human society to great extent. For the protection of human civilisation and reconstruction of social life a wife effort had been made on world basis which resulted in the popularity or Rural Sociology in the whole world.
Particularly after the Second World War Rural Sociology extended beyond the boundaries of U.S.A. into Europe and the East Under the “Point Four Programme”, America sent rural sociologists to work in underdeveloped countries. A European Society of Rural Sociology was formed in 1957.
In under-developed countries, the main role of the Rural Sociologists was and in primarily in the applied field of more effective planning the operation of rural community development programme.
Since India is a country of villages, therefore, the study of Rural Sociology is very indispensable in our country. After independence, it was felt that the development of country, to some extent, depends on the progress of rural life. Therefore, certain governmental and non-Governmental efforts have been made for the all round development of Rural Society Different sociologists have made their original contribution in the field or Rural Sociology in India.
Dr. D.N. Mazumdar, Prof. N.K. Bose, S.C. Dube and Prof. M.N. Srinivas are the pioneers among them. Besides, Planning Commission has introduced several projects for Rural Development-Community Development Project, Land Reforms, Co-Operative Movement, Five Year Plans, Panchayati Raj, National Extension Service and so on have contributed a lot of the Development of Rural Sociology in India.
Now a days Rural Sociology is a compulsory subject at the undergraduate level for B.Sc.(Agricultural Engineering),B.Sc.(Home Economics or Home Science), B.Sc .(Veterinary Science ) and B.Sc.(Agriculture )students in all agricultural colleges and universities and it is occupied as a major field of specialisation of Post-Graduate level in some of the universities in India. Though, the Development of Rural Sociology of India. Though, the Development of Rural Sociology of India has not yet attained a scientific level. It is to be hoped that there will be development in this direction in the future.