Diamonds in the Rough: The Gentrification of Rural Washington

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Event Details

Washington’s rural communities are rapidly changing. They were formerly reliant on working-class industries like mining, oil, and agriculture. Rural communities are experiencing an influx of wealthy urbanites looking for a different kind of experience that includes natural amenities, outdoor recreation, and cultural activities. But in doing so, these newcomers are causing new inequalities.

Jennifer Sherman, professor of sociology, discusses both the glaring and the hidden effects of rural gentrification. Through the lens of a rural Washington community, Sherman explains how “class blindness” protects those with more privilege from fully recognizing social class inequalities. She advocates for the importance of getting to know the neighbors who are least like us so that together we can minimize destructive social divides. Adults

JENNIFER SHERMAN (she/her) is a professor of sociology at Washington State University. Her qualitative research focuses on poverty and inequality, mainly in the rural Northwest. She is the author of two books, the most recent of which is titled Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream (2021), and the coeditor of the 2017 volume, Rural Poverty in the United States. Sherman lives in Moscow, Idaho.

This talk is presented in partnership with Humanities Washington and The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, which educates citizens across the state about democratic institutions and public affairs and is based at Washington State University. For more information, visit The Foley Institute’s website at

Registration is required.

Event Type(s): Lecture/Presentation, Book Discussion
Age Group(s): Adults

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