Renewed interest in agriculture by sociologists has led to an emphasis on structural analyses of rural America. Drawing upon the dual economy model, this paper proposes an alternative concept of the changing structure of agriculture in the United States. Two industrial sectors--the core and the periphery--are defined, and their relevance to agriculture is explored. Following Averitt, agriculture is an industry which historically has had a periphery-type orientation but is now undergoing encroachment from the core economy and partially from domination by the federal government. The research implications of the dual economy model for rural sociology are discussed.

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