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Meanings of ‘The Local’ in a Swedish Rural Development Organization: All Sweden Shall Live!
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Rural and Community Development, ISSN 1712-8277, E-ISSN 1712-8277, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 39-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organized rural development in Sweden can be described at two levels; a local level with a large number of local actors organized in a so-called village-action movement, and a national level where political parties and the government present different suggestions on how to develop rural areas. However, characteristic for Sweden is also a close relationship between these two levels and a bottom-up perspective encouraging local initiatives, which is exemplified by All Sweden Shall Live (ASSL); a general rural development organization characterized by both policy-making ambitions and support of local development projects. A central but also ambiguous concept in the organization ASSL’s campaigns and ideology is ‘the local,’ and with discourse theory, as a point of departure, this case-study examines how different meanings of ‘the local’ are used to advocate investments in local perspectives and local measures. Special attention is directed towards how meanings of ‘the local’ form a ‘fantasy,’ an emotional and ideological worldview, and how this worldview is of importance in the organization’s self-legitimization and for its potential as an agent of political mobilization. While ASSL is a Swedish organization, the subject is of general relevance because ideological investments in both ‘the local’ and ‘the regional’ are common, for example, in processes of relocalization—local responses to globalization—and in arguments about the importance of localities and regions in a global economy. Furthermore, the paper illustrates how such investments can have unexpected effects such as the transfer of responsibility for rural development from the government to local actors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rural Development Institute, Brandon University , 2018. Vol. 13, no 2, p. 39-56
Keyword [en]
rural development, local, discourse theory, ideological fantasy, urban norm
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148302OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148302DiVA, id: diva2:1212287
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2018-06-01 Created: 2018-06-01 Last updated: 2018-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Bo

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf