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  • 1.
    Bjärstig, Therese
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Camilla, Sandström
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Public-private partnerships in a Swedish rural context: A policy tool for the authorities to achieve sustainable rural development?2017In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 49, p. 58-68Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become a popular tool for governing rural development in a European context. PPPs are often presented as significant solutions for increasing both the effectiveness (problem-solving capacity) and the legitimacy of sustainable rural governance in terms of participation and accountability. In Sweden, where PPPs have played a marginal role, due to the EU cohesion policy they are now gaining ground as a model for the governance and management of natural resources in rural areas. Previous research shows that the state remains crucial in governing the process of governance through partnerships, especially in a rural as opposed to an urban context, where the state plays an ongoing role in initiating, structuring, financing and regulating partnerships. Is this an example of the state trying to counterbalance the increased power of the private sector, or the opposite – that is, an attempt to reduce social exclusion and increase participation by promoting the interest of private actors in local development processes? Our study examines the critical role of the state in these partnerships. We focus on authorities in charge of natural resource management and rural development and assess the enabling role of the authorities in rural areas with a weak or dispersed private sector. Empirical data is collected via group interviews at a workshop in which key representatives from the authorities participated. We identify a number of potential challenges associated to PPPs in a rural context, and in light of this we clarify how the authorities engage in different types of partnership arrangements, as well as their capacity to facilitate these partnerships in attempt to enhance sustainable rural development.

  • 2.
    Carson, Dean B
    et al.
    Flinders University Rural Clinical School, Flinders University, Burra, Australia ; The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australia.
    Carson, Doris A
    Centre for Regional Engagement, University of South Australia, Whyalla, Australia.
    Local economies of mobility in sparsely populated areas: cases from Australia's spine2014In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 36, p. 340-349Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a growing contemporary body of literature about the 'new mobilities' – increasingly mobile populations and their impacts on local economies, particularly in more sparsely populated areas of developed nations. Much of the focus has been on the 'fly in/fly out' workforce associated with mining projects, but attention has also been paid to increasing numbers of 'fly in/fly out' workers in the health sector, the changing nature of tourist populations, the use of temporary contract labour for government administration, and the movement of Indigenous people from remote communities into urban centres. This paper uses five case examples in South Australia and the Northern Territory (Australia's 'spine') to examine the diversity of experiences of the new mobilities. The paper presents a framework for investigating new mobilities at the local settlement level through developing an understanding of macro and micro factors driving mobility and the consequences in terms of aspects of social and economic distance between mobile populations and host communities. The framework provides for useful insights to be drawn from secondary data sources including the Australian Census and tourist surveys. The paper concludes that the geographic characteristics of short term mobility observed in this research essentially conform to the 'Eight Ds' model of the human and economic geography of sparsely populated areas.

  • 3.
    Carson, Doris A.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History. The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.
    Carson, Dean B.
    Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.
    International lifestyle immigrants and their contributions to rural tourism innovation: Experiences from Sweden's far north2018In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 64, p. 230-240Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the contributions of international lifestyle immigrants to new tourism development and innovation in the sparsely populated north of Sweden. Based on a qualitative case study, the paper examines how lifestyle immigrants contributed as tourism entrepreneurs to the formation of local capital in tourism, and stimulated local learning and innovation spillover through networks of interaction and collaboration. The theoretical framework integrates concepts from rural lifestyle migration, local community development, and local tourism innovation systems. The results document how immigrants emerged as important drivers of new tourism products, processes and markets, and introduced a range of new ideas, skills and external networks to the region. Yet, an in-depth social network analysis reveals that immigrants made more limited contributions to networks, collaborations and knowledge exchange with local tourism stakeholders, thus limiting learning outcomes and innovation spillover at a broader local system level. Reasons for this lack of systemic interaction included socio-cultural distance between immigrants and locals, limited levels of trust and reciprocity, diverging development and lifestyle priorities, and issues around exclusive immigrant networking. Finally, the relevance of the theoretical framework is discussed in relation to its applicability to other immigrant mobilities in sparsely populated rural areas.

  • 4. Dubois, Alexandre
    et al.
    Carson, Dean B.
    Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Die hard: On the persistence of Swedish upland farming2019In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 69, p. 41-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using an inductive quantitative approach, this article examines empirically the main characteristics of upland farming in the northern periphery of Sweden. This approach allows us to stepwise 'reconstruct' upland farming in its north Swedish manifestation. The data features farm-level and aggregated data from four municipalities stretching from the Bothnian Golf to the Norwegian border. The combination of GIS and advanced statistical analysis (clustering and regression) provides a robust evidence-base characterising upland farming at the nexus of multiple dimensions: territoriality (e.g. remote location, harsh climate, scattered settlement structure), style (e.g. labour extensive, small-scale, mixed fanning) and livelihood (e.g. plurlactive, diversification, subsidy dependent). The article emphasizes the potentially central role of upland farming in bringing into coherent policy initiatives promoting sustainable community development in the periphery. The study also looks ahead and urges scholars to adopt more systematically mixed methods in future upland farming studies in order to render the complexity of this socio-spatial phenomenon.

  • 5.
    Eimermann, Marco
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Kordel, Stefan
    Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.
    International lifestyle migrant entrepreneurs in two New Immigration Destinations: Understanding their evolving mix of embeddedness2018In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 64, p. 241-252Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on consumption and production in lifestyle migration to New Immigration Destinations (NIDs). The aim is to understand how and why lifestyle migrants' structural and individual peculiarities affect socio-economic changes in NIDs. Data are drawn from biographical interviews with lifestyle migrants in rural Slovenia and Sweden, adding issues of production to the otherwise prevailing focus on consumption in lifestyle migration studies. We ask how the ongoing quest for a better life and the lifestyle migrants' embedding processes in various contexts affect each other. Studying lifestyle migrants’ strives for better lives implies both an implicit and an explicit focus on temporality, which can result in a complex mix of embeddedness. Although our participants desire social relations with local populations, they establish them to only a limited degree, deploying multiple local and social networks in various locations for business purposes. As such, this article contributes to discussions on the incorporation of novel populations in NIDs and how to evaluate their contributions to local rural development.

  • 6.
    Eriksson, Madeleine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    “People in Stockholm are smarter than countryside folks”: Reproducing urban and rural imaginaries in film and life2010In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 95-104Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the celebrated film The Hunters (Swedish title: Jägarna) within the context of the discourse of Internal Orientalism. By juxtaposing a contemporary Swedish film with historical accounts and contemporary news media, I demonstrate how the film reworks and (re)produces representations of the rural North (Norrland), constructing stereotypes enmeshed with familiar and global genre-specific stereotypes of a traditional and intransigent population positioned in rural areas and a modern and progressive population in urban areas. This paper shows how the representation in popular culture becomes enmeshed with the representation in news media and politics and how this helps obscure geography, gender, ethnicity and class by way of positioning representations of the middle class in urban spaces and white male working class in rural spaces, and by way of constructing class as a choice of lifestyle or culture.

  • 7.
    Hedberg, Charlotta
    et al.
    Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Haandrikman, Karen
    Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Repopulation of the Swedish countryside: globalisation by international migration2014In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 34, p. 128-138Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rural areas have often been treated as mono-ethnic and homogeneous areas, as compared to urban areas that are seen as dynamic and mobile areas. Recent discourses in rural studies have been questioning this idea, adding the perspectives that rural areas are constituted by mobilities, actively engaged in globalization processes, and characterized by ethnic diversity. As population decline is a constant threat to many rural areas, international migration flows can contribute to their repopulation and to a dynamic and transnational countryside. The present paper takes a quantitative perspective, thereby adding to the mostly qualitative studies in this field. Through the use of Swedish full-population register data, patterns of international migrants in rural areas are depicted, using a unique definition of rurality. Our study shows that international migration to the countryside reveals a rich diversity in ethnicity and age. Nordic and European middle-aged and elderly migrants have the highest odds of living in the countryside, while South East Asian women are an upcoming group. Migrants in the countryside are more often women, have a Swedish partner, have less education, live in border areas and are short stayers. Female migrants in rural areas also have a higher employment rate than their urban counterparts. The results suggest a variety of migration motives, ranging from quality of life to cross-border and marriage migration, which indicate increased globalization of the countryside.

  • 8.
    Hedlund, Martin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Lundholm, Emma
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Restructuring of rural Sweden: employment transition and out-migration of three cohorts born 1945–19802015In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 42, p. 123-132Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 9. Hodge, Heidi
    et al.
    Carson, Doris
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History. School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Australia; The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australia.
    Carson, Dean
    Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. Mid North Knowledge Partnership, Flinders Rural Health South Australia, Flinders University, Australia; The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australia.
    Newman, Lareen
    Garrett, Jaimee
    Using Internet technologies in rural communities to access services: the views of older people and service providers2017In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 54, p. 469-478Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Older people in rural communities increasingly rely on the Internet to access essential health, finance, education, and other social services. However, their abilities to participate in the online service system are often undermined by a continuing 'digital divide'. This divide may be exacerbated by the strategies of service providers who fail to recognise and respond to the needs of older rural clients. This paper is based on a case study in Clare, a small rural town in South Australia, and examines the experiences of older residents and local service providers in trying to engage online for digital service delivery. Drawing on two sets of in-depth interviews, the study uses a mix of thematic content analysis and social network analysis to identify the nature and extent of digital interactions between older people and service providers, and the enablers and challenges for online service engagement. Older participants demonstrated considerable interest in learning how to use the Internet for accessing particular services, with social support networks and third party facilitators being crucial enablers. Service providers' ambitions to engage with older people online appeared more limited as a result of entrenched stereotypes of older non-users, a lack of internal digital skills, as well as organisational and funding constraints. The case study findings emphasise the importance of balancing the views of older people and service providers in the design of online engagement strategies. These insights are critical for improving online service delivery in rural communities affected by an increasing withdrawal of physical services.

  • 10.
    Lundgren, Anna Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Johansson, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Digital rurality: producing the countryside in online struggles for rural survival2017In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 51, p. 73-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interest in the rural has increased in Sweden during the last decades and the rural has become increasingly present as an object of politics, not least in social media. While social media have been recognised for their significance for social movements generally, less is written about how to understand rural movements online. The aim of this article is to study how politics of the rural is performed in and through social media. Seven Sweden-based Facebook accounts were studied using discourse theory. Three different discourses were identified – a discourse of mobilising action, a discourse of re-representation and a discourse of frustration. Of these, we specifically highlight how the focus on urban norms and the practice of performative re-representation constituted the digital arenas as spaces where people who identified with rural areas were linked together, had their experiences and opinions acknowledged and their rural identities not only re-constituted, but recognised and valued. We also show how the different discourses in turn produced two opposing notions of rural areas: as dying or as alive. These two notions worked to structure the politics of the rural in different ways.

  • 11. Mbiba, Monicah
    et al.
    Collinson, Mark
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; INDEPTH Network, Ghana.
    Hunter, Lori
    Twine, Wayne
    Social capital is subordinate to natural capital in buffering rural livelihoods from negative shocks: Insights from rural South Africa2019In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 65, p. 12-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rural livelihoods in developing countries are disproportionately vulnerable to multiple shocks and stresses that exacerbate vulnerability, which can result in increased dependence on natural resources. Several studies have been conducted on the safety net role of natural resources, which lower the impact of negative shocks on rural livelihoods. However, the role of social capital as a safety net that can potentially lower natural resource use when households experience negative shocks has been less studied. We examined the role of natural resources and social capital as buffers against negative shocks to reduce vulnerability in rural livelihoods. Using five years of panel data from a rural population in South Africa, multilevel models were constructed to quantify the influence of shocks, social capital and household socio-demographic characterization on three dimensions of natural resource use, namely the number of types of natural resources used, the frequency of natural resource use, and the quantities of natural resources used. Results show that household experience of negative shocks was consistently associated with a significant increase in all dimensions of natural resource use. However, and unexpectedly, social capital did not significantly reduce natural resource use when households experienced shocks. This in no way discounts the role social capital plays in cushioning households post experience of shocks, but rather indicates that reliance on social and natural capital could be complementary rather than substitutable coping strategies post experience of shocks. Efforts to secure rural livelihoods and achieve sustainability should thus focus on building household physical capital to reduce dependency on natural resources in rural households.

  • 12.
    Nilsson, Bo
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Lundgren, Anna Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Logics of rurality: Political rhetoric about the Swedish North2015In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 37, p. 85-95Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A recurring question in regional and national politics in Sweden is how Norrland a sparsely populated and partly declining region in the north of the country will be able to survive in the long run. The answer to this question varies between different political parties. With Swedish parliamentary material (non-government bills) as the point of departure this paper examines how the region of Norrland is used and created in political rhetoric. Four discourses were identified that all tried to fixate Norrland in different ways. The paper argues that pro-Norrland arguments may be counterproductive on a discursive level due to how they are organised. By identifying two dominant logics that traversed the different discourses and affected the processes of meaning making, we describe how pro-Norrland arguments that differ ideologically and/or employ different discourses reproduced a common view of Norrland as an inherently rural, remote and problematic area. 

  • 13.
    Rosvall, Per-Åke
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Rönnlund, Maria
    Umeå University.
    Johansson, Monica
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Young people's career choices in Swedish rural contexts: Schools' social codes, migration and resources2018In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 60, p. 43-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Successful social and economic integration into Swedish society increasingly demands a post-compulsory education, but such education is increasingly centralised, posing problems for rural young people. To help efforts to address such problems, this article considers social codes and resources that may influence rural young peoples' trajectories to post-secondary and higher education. This is done by analysing how codes and resources (social, cultural and material) influenced thoughts of students preparing to leave compulsory education regarding their educational/career choices. The empirical data were gathered using ethnographic approaches (classroom observations, and interviews with students, teachers, heads and study/work counsellors) in six classes in six rural Swedish towns, differing in terms of size, access to post-compulsory education, unemployment and young peoples' trajectories. The theoretical framework is based on Massey's understandings of place and power geometry, i.e. the distinct ways different social groups and individuals are placed in relation to the flows and interconnections of socio-economic and cultural interactions. The results indicate that social resources such as siblings and cousins ‘paving the way’, or relatives in towns offering possible options, may influence choices of upper secondary school. Cultural resources such as institutional recognition, in the form of academic credentials or qualifications, were also important. So too were financial resources, partly because economically privileged students tended to pick the programme of their choice, without reflecting much about where they would live, while less privileged students had to consider potential accommodation problems. In conclusion, differences in resources seem even more important to rural young people than they reportedly are for their urban peers.

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