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Now and at the Hour of Our Death. Susana Moreira Marques. Education and the Urban Crisis. Frank Field. The Politics of Location. Andrew Kirby. Specific aspects of the rural deemed attractive are identified by McGranahan and van Dam, Heins and Elbersen These vary at different stages of the life course. Notwithstanding this dominant counter-urbanisation narrative, a key point is that contemporary rural in-migration now involves a more diverse set of processes and consequently multiple migration flows, groups, motivations and destinations.

It is no longer solely thought of as an urban to rural migration flow leading largely to scenically attractive destinations or an exclusively internal migration phenomenon. A wider range of migrant groups are also participating, in contrast to the perceived middle-class and retired in-migrant dominance of the past. In addition, rural in-migration involves multiple drivers. Erickson and Keeble and Tyler allege that people have followed jobs into rural areas. Similarly, Dahms and McComb , p. Moreover, whereas quality of life values have long been recognised as an important motivation to explain a residential move to rural areas, Johnson and Rasker and Bosworth and Willett point to their importance in the business location decision making of rural business owners too.

And, in contrast to the pro-rural motivations that have dominated many rural in-migration studies, Gkartzios observes a crisis driven counter-urbanisation triggered by unemployment at origin.

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Similarly, Grimsrud finds that in-migration is strongly motivated by family relations and economic factors rather than pro-rural considerations. Taking a life course approach helps to explain this contemporary diversity of rural in-flows, groups and motivations. Until recently scant attention has been paid to life course dimensions. This is now changing with the emergence of a literature which confirms rural settings as popular destinations for migrants experiencing different life events who accordingly are drawn into the rural at multiple life course stages. Union and family formation life course stages have been observed to increase the likelihood of moving to a rural setting Courgeau, ; Lindgren, Such migration is linked to the availability and affordability relative to cities of family housing, a perception of rural areas being safe places to bring up children, and that rural areas possess a sense of community which is conducive to family life.

Bures , Stockdale and Stockdale and MacLeod identify a retirement transition life course stage whereby the migration behaviours of pre-retirement age migrants are similar to those of retirees. An impending retirement may correspond with an empty-nest life course stage. For others at this stage a move permits the release of property equity through downsizing Stockdale, Indeed, Haas and Serow allege that the baby-boom generation is more likely to move on retirement than previous cohorts.

Conflicting evidence is provided by Cribier who observes declining retirement migration among Parisians. Migration is also influenced by earlier residential experiences. Han and Moen , p. Finally, there is evidence of a further move by rural in-migrants at the time of increasing illness, personal frailty and widowhood that is, at later life course stages. According to Wenger migrants who have moved into rural areas, especially if they have left potential later life family and friend support systems behind, move from the countryside to larger villages and small towns.

In other words, later-life migration is to destinations possessing the necessary housing types, services, facilities and support networks for a comfortable old age. The necessity of moving from rural to urban areas for work and educational opportunities reflects the ongoing marginalisation of many rural regions in the context of global capitalist processes of urbanisation and capital accumulation, which have resulted in disinvestment and declining employment opportunities in many rural regions.

Lack of employment continues to be a major explanatory factor for rural out-migration, as traditional rural sectors such as agriculture experience declining labour demands, and young people migrate to urban centres for employment reasons Domina, ; Bell et al. Rural areas also tend to lack higher education opportunities, with research in different contexts finding that higher education is a key motivation for rural out-migration among young adults Domina, ; Corbett, b. Stockdale a has highlighted that education may provide an initial impetus for youth out-migration, and that, subsequently, a lack of suitable employment opportunities in the rural place of origin is a factor mitigating against return, thus reinforcing the out-migration trend.

In particular, the lack of graduate or professional employment opportunities in rural areas has been highlighted as a key factor. As remote or economically marginal rural regions continue to be dominated by agricultural, manual and low-skill service sectors of employment, the out-migration and staying away of young people is reinforced by the lack of opportunities for graduate employment. Corbett b, p. Social and cultural factors play an important role in out-migration decisions.

Research also shows that particular social and cultural characteristics of rural places can be both exacerbated by, and contribute to, youth out-migration. Some research associates this with powerful discursive constructions of rural versus urban life which construct rural life as typically backward or marginal in comparison to the urban Nugin, This notion of inevitability contributes to the construction of rural youth out-migration as a normative rite of passage in certain cultures and regions.

It is necessary therefore to understand the complexity underlying oversimplified associations between rural out-migration and the young-adult stage of the life course. While rural youth out-migration is associated with a particular life course transition phase, it is also intersected by gender, social class and educational attainment. This is associated with a relative lack of employment opportunities for women compared to men in rural areas dominated by traditionally male employment sectors such as agriculture and other primary industries.

However, the role of gender in rural out-migration is also quite complex, with some research suggesting that women are much more likely than men to move short distances to nearby towns and villages, and that men and women are at least equally likely to move long distances Stockdale, a; Corbett, a. This suggests that gender is implicated in rural out-migration differently at local and regional scales.

A deeper understanding of the ways in which gender shapes rural out-migration is provided by a life course perspective that focuses on transitions through family structures. Stockdale b investigates the role of social and family networks and ties in migrant decision-making processes in rural Scotland, concluding that family ties are particularly important to migrants in their initial moves away from home, and again at later stages in the life course when they have children and as their own parents age.

Given the close connections between gender and family in rural social structures, there is a need for more research which explicitly explores how gender, family and the life course intersect in rural migration decision making. Many studies show that rural out-migration is closely linked to education levels, with the more highly educated being more likely to out-migrate. Other studies have found that educational opportunities feature very prominently as stated motivations for migration among rural out-migrants Stockdale, a or as stated motivations among rural youth intending to migrate Drozdzewski, Few studies of rural out-migration explicitly engage with questions of social class.

However, Corbett b provides a convincing analysis of the way in which social class both shapes, and is shaped by, the educational, labour market and discursive structures which propel middle-class rural youth along a trajectory of education and out-migration, while simultaneously restricting the opportunities of working-class youth to the low-skill sectors of rural labour markets. These social class dynamics are clearly geographically contingent on local class structures. Others have highlighted the ways in which out-migration may be associated with social class mobility; for example, Gabriel explores the experiences of social advancement among young rural migrants from economically depressed rural regions in Tasmania, suggesting that rural out-migration is associated with social class mobility.

In other words, young migrants and non-migrants are recognised as social agents actively making often difficult decisions in different rural contexts, and actively involved in reproducing or resisting migration processes. Thus is it argued that young people growing up in rural areas negotiate competing pressures and influences in their decision-making processes in relation to staying or leaving. While there is a clear association between life course transitions typically associated with young adulthood, and rural out-migration, research also highlights the diversity among rural out-migrants Stockdale, a; Drozdzewski, In particular, her research highlights the role of social and family networks in migration decision making.

Having family or friendship connections in the destination area can be a motivating factor for out-migration; similarly Drozdzewski and Jones have both found that the previous migration of older siblings, or a family history of migration, are associated with greater propensity for out-migration.

This body of research highlights the complexity of rural out-migration as well as the fluidity of the life course, and argues for a life course approach which acknowledges the fluid, unorthodox and diverse ways in which life course stages intersect with decisions to migrate. Return migration is increasingly acknowledged as a key component of counter-urbanisation and rural in-migration processes in the global north, although it has until recently been relatively under-recognised.


The acknowledgement of the circularity and complexity of rural migration patterns, often involving return and remigration flows, challenges dominant narratives of in- and out-migration. This phenomenon is closely associated with wider family ties, as family connections to parents, siblings and others reinforce the attraction of the rural environment for return migrants. Returning to spend time with, or to care for, ageing parents, either temporarily or permanently, is also a significant dimension to rural return processes, reflecting the strength of family networks in migration decision making at particular stages of the life course Stockdale, b.

Therefore, while economic and educational considerations are particularly important in out-migration decisions, family and lifestyle considerations seem to gain more weight in return decisions. However, some research also points out that economic reasons combined with family factors can be a motivating factor in rural return migration decisions, such as in Greece during the economic crisis in reaction to unemployment and urban decline Gkartzios, While some have argued that return migration does not in fact bring a demographic or economic dividend to rural areas, recent research by von Reichert, Cromartie and Arthun a in the USA suggests that return migrants contribute to demographic, social and economic vitality in rural communities.

Attracting young migrants back to rural areas is often viewed as a potential solution to the negative effects of out-migration. Contemporary rural settings are characterised by diverse migration flows, processes, groups and motivations. Adopting a life course perspective — or relating migration to and from rural settings to principal life events and transitions — permits greater understandings of the complex and multiple considerations and influences evident across the life course and how they intersect with different rural migration flows.

Instead, rural areas have something to offer more diverse economic and social groups at different stages of the life course. There is also in-migration from other rural as well as urban locations including overseas to more varied rural area types accessible, scenically attractive, less popular and remote locations. Similarly, there is greater acknowledgement of diversity among out-migrants in terms of their characteristics, influences and decisions. A number of different migration processes are evident. While in-migration is commonly conceptualised in terms of counter-urbanisation, might the movement of people at different life course stages family formation, retirement and involving different migration flows for example, retirement, return, inter-rural, international represent particular components of counter-urbanisation or separate and distinctive migratory processes?

These diverse migration flows to and from rural areas give rise to highly variable demographic, economic, social and cultural consequences depending upon the life course stage at which the move has occurred alongside the relative importance of economic, social and lifestyle factors at work. Against these, however, there are positive aspects to in-migration. Migrants bring rural economic development potential; they create businesses Bosworth, and stimulate demand for housing, goods and services.

In addition, they are active volunteers in community activities. Returning too may give rise to difficulties, although encouragement of return migration is often considered a potential solution to the problems of youth out-migration in declining rural areas. This chapter acknowledges that there are multiple life course triggers for migration. The factors contributing to rural in- or out-migration involve complex intersections between life course events and wider social, economic and structural processes shaping, and shaped by, rural and urban areas.

Migration processes are key to understanding the complex interconnections between the rural and the urban in the contemporary global north, as powerful constructions of rurality and its other, the urban are produced, reproduced and resisted, through diverse migration flows to and from rural places. Spatial inequalities are reinforced and also reshaped in part through the movements of people at different life course stages to and from rural places, as migration processes contribute to processes such as marginalisation, gentrification, geriatrification, as well as development of rural places.

A life course perspective facilitates an understanding of these processes which recognises the interconnection of urban—rural dynamics with family, gender, age, caring and other socio-biographical imperatives, providing a complex and rich perspective on migration and rurality. We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy.

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Enter keywords, authors, DOI etc. Search History. Search history from this session 0. Metrics Views Abstract It is increasingly acknowledged that the preferences and propensities for living in, or moving from, rural settings vary across the life course. Introduction It is increasingly acknowledged that the preferences and propensities for living in, or moving from, rural settings vary across the life course. In-migration Since the s, rural in-migration has largely been conceptualised within a counter-urbanisation framework.

Return migration Return migration is increasingly acknowledged as a key component of counter-urbanisation and rural in-migration processes in the global north, although it has until recently been relatively under-recognised. Conclusion Contemporary rural settings are characterised by diverse migration flows, processes, groups and motivations. Re-creating the rural reconstructing nature: An international literature review of the environmental implications of amenity migration.

Conservation and Society 10 3 , — Andersen, H Explanations for long-distance counter-urban migration into fringe areas in Denmark. Population, Space and Place 17 5 , — Coming out and coming back: Rural gay migration and the city. Journal of Rural Studies 28, 56— A creativity-led rural renaissance? Amenity-led migration, the creative turn and the uneven development of rural Australia. Applied Geography 44, 88— Rural youth migration trends in Australia: An overview of recent trends and two inland case studies.

Geographical Research 46 2 , — Atterton, J Ageing and coastal communities. Ball, S Class strategies and the educational market: The middle-classes and social advantage. London: Routledge. Beale, C The revival of population growth in non-metropolitan America.

Rural society, social inclusion and landscape change in Central and Eastern Europe: A case study of Latvia. Sociologia Ruralis 49 3 , — Benson, M The context and trajectory of lifestyle migration. European Societies 12 1 , 45— Lifestyle migration: Expectations, aspirations and experiences. Farnham: Ashgate. Berry, B Urbanisation and counterurbanisation.

Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Contemporary development forces in the nonmetropolitan West. Journal of Rural Studies 16 4 , — More than counterurbanisation: Migration to popular and less-popular rural areas in the Netherlands. Population, Space and Place 18 5 , — Migration to less-popular rural areas in the Netherlands: Exploring the motivations. Journal of Rural Studies 28 4 , — Different areas, different people? Migration to popular and less-popular rural areas in the Netherlands. Population, Space and Place 19 5 , — Should I stay or should I go?

Migration expectations among youth in Icelandic fishing and farming communities. Journal of Rural Studies 22, — Dreaming of a smallholding. The first example, Tinkers' Bubble, is indeed an attempt by 'former travellers' to settle on a mixture of wooded, agricultural and orchard land Fairlie ; Hull The Tinkers' Bubble Collective bought 16 hectares of land in and settled on it; usually around six adults and four children were found on site.

The Collective then applied for planning permission to build seven benders temporary, portable tent-like structures in order to work the land on per-. Dairy, vegetable, fruit and fuel production was intended. In , after a protracted debate, a government planning inspector recommended the granting of temporary planning permission for the benders based on a five-year conservation plan.

This plan was to be drawn up jointly by the Tinkers Bubble group and the local authority. However, this recommendation was rejected immediately by the Secretary of State for the Environment, who argued that the minimal agricultural production to be obtained from such a site did not justify making an exception to the planning rules by allowing accommodation on the land. However, even with this setback, the Collective did not give up. Eventually, with a new central government in place, in January the local authority gave the group temporary five-year planning permission.

Again, this permission was linked to a management plan which, amongst other things, committed the Collective to:. A similar story to that of Tinkers' Bubble can be told elsewhere. King's Hill is a cooperative 'residential bender site', established outside the development zone near Shepton Mallet, not far from Tinkers' Bubble, in the early s. With a wide diversity of occupations, the residents are less orientated to permaculture than at Tinkers' Bubble, with most again being 'ex- travellers seeking above all a safe place to live' Fairlie The residents applied for planning permission for 16 benders in the mid s and, after a long struggle, were successful.

In fact, they were even more successful than at Tinkers' Bubble.

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In November , although only having applied for temporary planning permission, they were granted permanency on appeal by the Secretary of State. He concluded that they had already had a trial period waiting for the outcome of their application to be resolved and thus were eligible for permanent planning permission. Interestingly, although breaking with the plan for the area,.

Conditions were again attached to the planning permission, notably that no more than 12 vehicles were to be on site at any one time. A third example of marginal settlement in lowland England is that of the Steward Community Woodland near Moreton- hampstead on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. The Affinity Woodland Workers' Co-operative, many of whom had gained practical experience at Tinkers' Bubble and King's Hill, came together in , keen to establish a low impact settlement.

As at Tinkers' Bubble, this settlement was to be based firmly on permacultural principles. The group consists of around ten people from a wide range of occupational backgrounds. Most of them have degree level qualifications. Just as the latter were being granted permanent planning permission in November , the Dartmoor National Park Authority refused permission even for a low impact settlement 'consisting solely of structures not constituting operational development e. Citing policies contained in the National Park Plan, the application was refused as it: 'would constitute an unjustified form of development in the open countryside, which would detract from the character and appearance of this part of the Dartmoor National Park' Dartmoor National Park Authority As the Co-operative are appealing against this decision, we can expect another long drawn-out planning battle.

Crucially, as with the new crofting, the principals and actions of all three groups are linked to broader debates about defining patterns of rural sustainability for the countryside. For example, the key Tinkers' Bubble member Simon Fairlie is the cornerstone of the group Chapter 7, which 'campaigns to provide access to land for all households.

Likewise, the sophisticated Steward Community Woodland web site exudes a strong didactic dimension in its promotion of permaculture and low impact development Steward Community Woodland A central precept here is the opening up of the countryside to all, providing that they are to live through largely sustainable means. This challenges both the formalistic style and logic of Britain's post-.

The latter is an ongoing and challenging task Fairlie a, c. However, it speaks of the latest phase of 'another kind of unofficial country' Ward and a positive counter to the idea that 'only the affluent can afford to live in the countryside' p. Recognising 'marginal' settlement: broadening our perspective. The previous section has outlined some examples of what I have termed 'marginal' settlement from rural Britain. If these groups are recognised more fully in the academic literature, then they might be expected to broaden our appreciation of just what counterurbanisation entails as a socio-demo- graphic concept; they can be added to the counterurbanisation saga.

Evidence from further afield than just Britain at the turn of the millennium would support such an addition. Broadening the historical perspective. Adding an historical perspective to marginal rural settlement initiatives is a first stage in enhancing further its significance. From a British perspective, we can go back to the end of the English Civil War with the emergence of the radical group known as the True Levellers or Diggers.

Appearing within the radical ferment which led ultimately to the execution of King Charles I, this diverse group, whose key figure was Gerrard Winstanley, sought to establish what the latter termed a 'heaven on earth'. In such a Utopia, people were to live within anarcho-communist-Protestant communities Parker forthcoming. To achieve this, Winstanley and a group of fellow Diggers 1 established a commune in April on St. George's Hill in Surrey south-east England and sought to subsist on the land.

Key settlements in rural areas routledge revivals pdf

This land was largely uncultivated waste. The Diggers challenged the exclusive rights of. This was at a time of, on the one hand, high prices, unemployment and taxation and, on the other, ever increased enclosure of land which eliminated various customary rights Hill Although the Diggers' radical experiment was short-lived - they were finally evicted from a second site nearby at Cobham Heath just a year later in April - many of their ideas have recently been revived and popularised by the land rights movement The Land is Ours Table 1.

This group aims 'to highlight ordinary people's exclusion not only from the land itself but also from the decision-making processes affecting it, and to campaign and facilitate other people's campaigns to put this right' The Land is Ours Indeed, the campaign itself began with the occupation of a disused airfield and set-aside land near the same St George's Hill where Winstanley had established his first commune Monbiot The radical planning group Chapter 7, linked closely to the English back-to-the- land experiments noted above, started out as an off-shoot of The Land is Ours. Back-to-the-land movements in the 19th Century were less rooted in the immediate experience of war than the Diggers, but they still raised a radical voice within the countryside Hardy In fact, the very term 'back-to-the-land' can be sourced to the.

For example, the Chartist movement - whose primary aim was for parliamentary reforms beneficial to working people - established a Co-operative Land Company to assist workers in saving money to buy land and thus become economically independent Gould ; Hardy ; Parker forthcoming. Even the later bourgeois trend between and of going back- to-the-land Marsh was inspired - via radical thinkers such as John Ruskin, William Morris and Edward Carpenter - by anti-industrialism, Christian socialist urban reformism and concerns arising from the agricultural depression of the 's, together with the stifling social norms of Victorian society.

Gould even links the revival of back-to-the-land movements in the s to the beginning of modern Green politics. The years after the First World War also saw a renewed interest in back-to-the-land ideas. Between and there was a government scheme to provide small-holdings to ex-services personnel Ward The inter-war years also saw the heyday of Montague Fordhams' Rural Reconstruction Association Woods and the establishment of the Land Settlement Association in , the largest ever government-funded back-to-the-land scheme in Britain, which stayed in operation until Ward As Woods has pointed out, the broader movement of this time ranged from those influenced by William Morris's socialism to those holding quasi-fascist blood-and-soil notions.

Nationalist identifications with the rural also featured strongly, as in Wales Gruffudd At a more mundane level, the first third of the 20th century also saw thousands of often very poor families build homes and cottages for themselves in unregulated 'plotlands' Hardy and Ward , some of which survive to this day Dowling Finally, the end of the s and the early s saw a flowering of counter-cultural commune-style back-to-the-land settlement in Britain Rigby a.

Whilst these. This is even more true of their more recent variants Communes Network ; Pepper , with half of the 12 communes surveyed by Pepper having a clear 'colonising intent' p. Broadening the geographical perspective. Sticking with the present period, marginal settlement - like counterurbanisation - is by no means limited to Great Britain.

For example, across the Irish Sea, we find an attempt to broaden the socio-economic scope of rural settlement with Rural Resettlement Ireland Rural Resettlement Ireland Limited This scheme was established by a County Clare sculptor, Jim Connolly, in Connolly was concerned with the ongoing depopulation of much of rural Ireland and came up with the idea of focusing on bringing people rather than jobs to the area, thereby contrasting with the 'economic' approach adopted by conventional rural development agencies. The aim was to help those city families who would prefer a quieter country life, possibly enabling them to make a 'fresh start' with their lives.

Rural Resettlement Ireland, now funded by the Irish Department of the Environment and various foundations, sponsors the migration of mainly local authority tenants from Dublin to the remote west of Ireland. The majority are unemployed. They move after being screened for suitability and after learning some 'rural skills' for example, turf cutting, handicrafts, some agricultural tasks in classes in Dublin.

By August some families had moved through the scheme Rural Resettlement Ireland Limited There are also around 3, families on the waiting list. Welfare payments support most of the others. Most migrants rent on arrival, but. Lastly, besides the generally high levels of satisfaction expressed by the migrants, it is probable that jobs and services have been saved in the rural areas due to there being more children in local schools, greater use of local shops, etc.

Evidence from other European countries should also be noted here, not least reflecting the legacy of the post radical movement, one response of which was to get 'back-to-the-land'.