Kai A. Schafft, associate professor of education and rural sociology, has been invited to present a plenary address at a prestigious international conference in Crete.
The 24th European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Congress is set to take place Aug. 22-26 in Chania, Crete. The Congress theme this year is Inequality and Diversity in Rural Areas. Schafft is slated to present a review of research on rural poverty and social exclusion in the United States.
“It was quite an honor to be asked to participate in this meeting,” said Schafft. “The ESRS Congress is a highly prestigious organization and I’m very pleased to be asked to discuss my work to my international colleagues.”
Schafft is recognized for his scholarship in the relationship between social inequality, spatial inequality and rural development. His current work examines the community and school impacts of unconventional natural gas development within the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania, and how risk and opportunity associated with gas development is understood and managed by local and state-level stakeholders. He also has conducted research on housing insecurity and chronic residential mobility among poor households, the determinants of rural childhood obesity, youth aspirations and rural brain drain, and the role of schools in rural community development.
Schafft directs the Center for Rural Education and Communities in Penn State’s College of Education. He serves as editor of the Journal of Research in Rural Education. He co-authored a recently released book with David L. Brown, professor at Cornell University, titled "Rural People and Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation" (Polity Press, 2011).
The ESRS, founded in 1957, is the leading European association for researchers, policy makers, and scientists interested in the study of rural issues.