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Historically, researchers from various social disciplines (sociologists, geographers,
demographers and others) have observed important differences between urban and rural
populations in many parts of today's developed countries. Compared with the urban residents,
people living in rural areas generally expressed more conservative political and religious
attitudes, were more likely to follow traditional values, and revealed less "modem" behavioural
pattems (more traditional family structure and living arrangements, higher fertility, lower
level of education). Classic sociological theories (Durkheim. Tonnies, Marx, Simmel) utilising
bipolar dichotomies were employed to understand these urban/rural differences. These
theories were primarily developed to explain dissimilarities between simple societies and
more complex ones. While this theoretical tradition contributed importantly to the
understanding of these differences, the volume of studies dealing with the dichotomy urban/
rural has declined in recent decades. It is assumed that due to mass culture, mass
communication, improved transportation, globalisation of economies and markets, many of
historic distinctions between urban and rural societies have became insignificant (Albrecht
and Albrecht 1996). However, the dichotomy urban/mral is still a key variable in many
demographic and other social sciences' investigations (e.g,. Camarero Rioja et.al. 2001, Bonner
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