Networks, actors and rural development: perspectives in the construction of a relational approach

The construction of a relational approach to the study of the complex social dynamics configuring the contemporary rural world stands, particularly after the 1980's, as a challenge for the social sciences. In this direction, different lines of interpretation incorporated the notion of network, as an analytical tool connecting actors, meanings, objects and practices, in the study of rural development processes. This article aims to explore some of these analytical frames of reference, identifying convergences and discontinuities among different perspectives.

Rural development; Networks; Relational approach; Actor-Network Theory

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