Rural Youth in the Metropolitan Area
Methodological Discussion on the Definition of Rural Population in Uruguay
Keywords:rural population, territory, construct validity, prison population
This article aims to provide information on two issues. On the one hand, it seeks to contribute to the discussion on the relevance of revising the current definition of rural population. Thus, results show construct validity problems posed by the current official definition, particularly, its limited capacity to legitimately represent what it conceptually attempts to measure. On the other hand, some limitations of the classification criterion by region are shown, derived from the way in which the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) defines rural population, and the problems of comparability and classificability derived from the proposed variable are emphasized. In addition, evidence of the problems that the uncritical use of secondary information available for territorial analysis can bring about is presented. Thus, the paradox implicit in the analysis oriented to characterize territories by comparing indicators derived from conceptually different populations is shown. Specifically, the limitation introduced when trying to compare territories which include individuals that are incarcerated –and therefore, deprived of their right to move freely throughout the territory– with other territories where this situation does not occur is shown. The results emphasize the need to discuss in substantive terms with its translation into operational terms the concept of «rural population», expanding the vision of the phenomenon, in order to capture the heterogeneity of contemporary rural contexts.
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