This website is devoted to making the history of
the Rural Sociological Society and rural
sociology more accessible.
Additions and suggestions are always welcome!
How the Rural Sociological Society Began
Sociological Society (RSS) was officially established on
December 29th, 1937.
Before then, those interested in the discipline met as the Rural
Sociology Section of the American Sociological
Society, which later became the American Sociological Association.
The meeting at which formation of the RSS was approved had not
started with that in mind.
Rather, a committee of section members appointed previously
presented a report that supported continued association
with the parent organization, although one of the five members
submitted a minority report calling for separation.
After substantial discussion, a vote to establish a separate
That same day, a provisional constitution and by-laws were
established by the founding RSS members;
they still guide activities, although both have been amended
through the years as membership and issues have changed.”
Goudy, RSS Historian 2004-2009
from: "Establishing the Rural Sociological." The
The First Year of the Rural Sociological Society
Source: Minutes published in Rural Sociology.
Provisional Constitution adopted during the meeting of the Rural
Sociology Section of the American Sociological Society at the
Claridge Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey (December 1937), the
RSS was initially named the Rural Sociological Society of
first Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society
in Detroit, Michigan (December 1938), Dwight Sanderson gave the
Presidential Address and the Constitution for the Rural
Sociological Society was adopted. At this meeting, Carl C.
Taylor was elected
the second president of the RSS.
First Officers of RSS (Elected: December 1937)
President: Dwight Sanderson (Cornell University)
Vice President: John H. Kolb (University of
Secretary-Treasurer: T. Lynn Smith (Louisiana State
Additional Members of the Executive Committee:
C. E. Lively (Ohio State University)
Carl C. Taylor (Division of Farm Population and Rural Life,
Committee Appointments (Appointed: December 1937)
Committee on Research
Horace Hamilton, Chair (Texas A&M College)
Harold F. Dorn ([Maryland])
L. Whetten (Connecticut State College)
Committee on Teaching
Wilson Gee, Chair (University of Virginia)
D. Duncan (Oklahoma A&M College)
R. Hoffer (Michigan State College)
Committee on Extension
B. Schmidt, Chair (Ohio State University)
E. Duthie (Cornell University)
Theo. Vaughan ([University of Kentucky?])
Lynn Smith, Editor (Louisiana State University)
Landis, Advisory Editor (State College of Washington)
Conrad Taeuber, Advisory Editor ([Maryland])
Sociology (journal): (Editors for Vol. 3, Issue 1, 1938)
Lowry Nelson, Editor (University of Minnesota)
Lynn Smith, Managing Editor (Louisiana State University)
H. Kolb, Associate Editor (University of Wisconsin)
E. Lively, Associate Editor (Ohio State University)
Dwight Sanderson, Associate Editor (Cornell University)
Carle C. Zimmerman, Associate Editor (Harvard University)
Holik, John S. and Edward W. Hassinger. 1986a. “The Rural
Sociological Society: Its Beginnings.” The Rural Sociologist.
Holik, John S. and Edward W. Hassinger. 1986b. “The RSS:
Coming to Formalization.” The Rural Sociologist.
send suggestions, ideas, or changes to:
Professor, Rural Sociology
Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky
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