The first part of this primer explores economic and social restructuring processes that have affected resource-based communities, as well as how opportunities and challenges to address poverty has been conditioned by the unique characteristics and capacity of local people, relationships, infrastructure, and institutions of rural and small town places. [...] Large distances and low population densities across rural areas limit opportunities to search for and commute to employment, and have resulted in limited access to infrastructure, services, and other resources – thereby prolonging unemployment and potentially the duration of poverty in rural and small town places. [...] We begin with a review of how the meaning of rural and small town places and poverty have been construed, debated, and used as such meanings provide a basis for responses to rural poverty at the local, provincial, and national levels. [...] The pressures and impacts of economic and social restructuring on resource-based rural and small town places, including the impacts on the capacity of households and organizations, are then explored. [...] Rural and Small Town Places While different perceptions and definitions of rural and small town places can have important implications for policies and approaches to addressing poverty, the meaning and definition of rural and small town places is largely contested (du Plessis et al.
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