The relationship between rural sociology and rural social work can be traced back to the days of the Country Life Commission (1908), and has experienced many fluctuations throughout the years. This paper examines the interconnections between the developments in the two fields, drawing from historical data which lead to che hypothesis that those fluctuations were caused by forces within each discipline as well as by developments affecting the interactions of each field with the other. It appears that academic and theoretical issues were not alone in causing contention in the relationship between rural sociology and the practice of rural social work. Political moods and market priorities were equally influential.

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