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Growth and decline in rural Sweden: geographical distribution of employment and population 1960–2010
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Tillväxt och nedgång på svensk landsbygd : fördelning av befolkning och arbete 1960–2010 (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the combination of changes in the population and employment into sectors in rural Sweden for the period 1960-2010. The aim is to describe and analyze the demographic changes together with the labour market changes, and to account for the spatial outcome of these changes by considering the heterogeneity of rural areas. The analysis departs from the framework of rural restructuring, where changes in employment and population in rural Sweden are interpreted as local products of the global processes of technological development, social modernization and globalization. Empirically, the analysis is based on a combination of longitudinal censuses and register data on the Swedish population covering the period 1960-2010.

The first part of the aim is achieved by applying a life-course perspective and exploiting the longitudinal nature of the data. The life-course perspective distinguishes between historical time and the age of individuals, making it possible to situate changes in employment and migration on the individual level. The second part of the aim is achieved through developing a typology of rural Sweden by doing a cluster analysis on SAMS-areas.

The results show that rural change after 1980 was characterized by de-industrialization and the rise of the urban service sector. The period was also characterized by regional urbanization rather than local urbanization. Peripheral urban and rural areas based on industrial employment found themselves with a declining economic motor, which meant that people had to find their source of income elsewhere. The migration stream in this period was thus increasingly directed towards metropolitan or large city centers, and their rural surroundings within commuting distance. However, the more fine-tuned spatial typology reveals that also a few areas in the rural periphery have experienced growth, these areas are mainly attractive places based on various kinds of tourism. It can thus be concluded that different rural areas have experienced, and will continue to experience, the shift from manufacturing to services differently, where some areas have grown in both demographic and employment terms while others have declined. In this sense the heterogeneity of rural areas are a product of both growth and decline – of old development paths that is reaching their end and of new development paths that will continue into the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2017. , 76 p.
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2017:3
Keyword [en]
rural restructuring, rural heterogeneity, manufacturing decline, agricultural decline, urbanization, rural typology, life-course perspective, cluster analysis, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139723ISBN: 978-91-7601-769-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-139723DiVA: diva2:1143120
Public defence
2017-10-13, Hörsal C, Samhällsvetarhuset, 901 87, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-72
Available from: 2017-09-22 Created: 2017-09-20 Last updated: 2017-10-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Rural restructuring and gendered micro-dynamics of the agricultural labour market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rural restructuring and gendered micro-dynamics of the agricultural labour market
2017 (English)In: Fennia, ISSN 0015-0010, Vol. 195, no 1, 25-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on a comparison of the employment trajectories of two cohorts of men and women in the agricultural sector in Sweden, this article gives an account of the past 50 years’ decline in employment in agriculture. The findings show that the decline of employment in agriculture was the result of fewer entries into the sector and more exits out of the sector. The findings also suggest that the restructuring of the agricultural sector has had greater effects on women than men, with women exiting the sector to a greater degree or never entering it to begin with.

Keyword
agricultural decline, rural restructuring, off-farm employment, lifecourse perspective, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133595 (URN)10.11143/fennia.59542 (DOI)000406431800003 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-72
Available from: 2017-04-12 Created: 2017-04-12 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
2. Restructuring of rural Sweden: employment transition and out-migration of three cohorts born 1945–1980
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Restructuring of rural Sweden: employment transition and out-migration of three cohorts born 1945–1980
2015 (English)In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 42, 123-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rural restructuring has established itself in recent years as a popular area for research. However, the empirical findings are contested and criticism has been raised against its one-sided focus on agriculture and the British countryside. Drawing on Swedish longitudinal register data from three cohorts, we argue that there is empirical support for a restructuring process in rural areas. However, changes in agriculture are largely irrelevant considering the general picture – instead, it is the rise and fall of manufacturing and rural public sector employment, along with the recent growth of urban service sector employment, that comprise the contemporary economic restructuring of rural areas. We conclude that the contemporary restructuring in rural areas should be separated from a previous restructuring which went from agriculture to manufacturing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Rural restructuring, Manufacturing decline, Urbanization, Lifecourse perspective, Sweden
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110657 (URN)10.1016/j.jrurstud.2015.10.006 (DOI)000367125400012 ()
Projects
Mobilising the rural: postproductivism and the new economy
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-72
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
3. Mapping the Socioeconomic Landscape of Rural Sweden: Towards a Typology of Rural Areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mapping the Socioeconomic Landscape of Rural Sweden: Towards a Typology of Rural Areas
2016 (English)In: Regional studies, ISSN 0034-3404, E-ISSN 1360-0591, Vol. 50, no 3, 460-474 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Definitions of the rural have been the subject of numerous academic papers. This paper argues that the a priori urban–rural continuum model should be abandoned in favour of a more open approach. In advancing this argument, a socioeconomic typology of rural Sweden is developed by means of cluster analysis. A total of 3983 areas were sorted into five clusters and16 sub-clusters. One-third of the rural population lives in the middle-class countryside within the urban shadow (12%) and working-class countryside within the urban shadow (22%); the bulk of the rural population lives in countryside outside the urban shadow (25%) and manufacturing periphery (28%); and a smaller share resides in the resource periphery (12%). It is concluded that location-specific typologies based on high-resolution data that avoid a priori assumptions of rurality give great insight into rural heterogeneity.

Keyword
Rural heterogeneity, Rural change, Rural typology, Regional development, Cluster analysis, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91671 (URN)10.1080/00343404.2014.924618 (DOI)000368717900006 ()2-s2.0-84902899203 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2014-08-13 Created: 2014-08-13 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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