Rural and Urban Sociology

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The unit consists of theoretical-practical classes, based on presentation and discussion of the themes of the syllabus. The classes aim to frame the conceptual and instrumental program content, as well as promoting collective discussion by providing for reading a set of texts from sociology. For some of them classes will count with the presence of experts or professionals, either as lecturers either or as commentators. Is encouraged the oral presentation of subjects by the students under the supervision and based on the syllabus bibliography.

Learning Outcomes

The unit of Rural and Urban Sociology discusses the changes and developments in relations between rural and urban worlds as well as to promote a discussion about the current relevance and scope of the two concepts in the field of sociology and also relate them to the problems of space and environment.

Students should be able a) to reference and discuss the sociological problems of rurality and urbanity; b) aknowledge the specific dimensions that shape urban realities and rural realities; c) to characterize the different movements (urbanization, peri-urbanization, rurbanization, etc.) which govern the evolution of rural and urban categories and d) to identify the persistence of rurality in urban areas and of urban phenomena in the countryside as well as the emergence of new phenomena (urban agriculture, second homes, etc.) that make the rural / urban relation particularly complex.

Work Placement(s)



I - The urban-rural distinction in sociological thought - aims to introduce the sociological problems of the distinction between "rural" and "urban" and to evaluate the timeliness and relevance of this distinction, based on the analysis of the theoretical foundations that support it. For this, we discuss the founding arguments of the distinction and we discuss their validity in the context of contemporary societies.

II - The "rural" as an object of study. The currents, the contents and methods of Rural Sociology - seeks to introduce the student into the main currents of the sociological thinking about rural space and into the more specific and relevant problems in the disciplinary field.

III - The "urban" as an object of study. The current, contents and methods of Urban Sociology - seeks to introduce the student into the main currents of the sociological thinking about social space and urban issues in more specific and relevant disciplinary field, as was setting over time.

Head Lecturer(s)

Ana Raquel Borges Barros de Matos

Assessment Methods

Continuous Assessment
students may prepare original essays on selected subjects (up to 3) at the beginning of the semester (75%) plus a final exam (25%). The choice is subject to frequency of at least 75% of classes: 100.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


1. Mingione, Enzo; Pugliese, Enrico (1987) “A difícil delimi­ta­ção do ´urbano´ e do ´rural´”. Revista Crítica de Ciências So­ci­ais, 22: 83-99.

2. Madureira Pinto, José (1985) “O espaço social rural” in José Ma­dureira Pinto Estruturas sociais e práticas simbólico-ideo­ló­gicas nos campos  (73-91). Porto: Afrontamento.                                                       

3. Madureira Pinto, José (1981) “O espaço social rural: especi­fi­ci­da­des, fun­ções, trans­formações (quadro sinóptico)”. Re­vista Crítica de Ciências Sociais,7/8: 327-328

4. BAPTISTA, Fernando (2001) Agriculturas e Territórios (cap. 5. “Os caminhos da Agricultura Familiar”). Oeiras: Celta  Editora

5. SIMMEL, Georg (1973) A metrópole e a vida mental. In Octávio Velho, O Fenómeno Urbano. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar.