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  • 1. Bjarnason, Thoroddur
    et al.
    Stockdale, Aileen
    Shuttleworth, Ian
    Eimermann, Marco
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Shucksmith, Mark
    At the intersection of urbanisation and counterurbanisation in rural space: Microurbanisation in Northern Iceland2021In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 87, p. 404-414Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Micropolitan centers and other regional towns have frequently been conceptualised as drivers of economic growth in rural regions, providing an ideal balance between rural and urban amenities. However, they have also been described as “sponges” that suck the population from more rural communities in the region, perhaps only to be squeezed again into the micropolitan bucket of urbanisation. In this paper, we map long-term urbanisation and microurbanisation in Iceland and evaluate the role of micropolitan Akureyri in Northern Iceland in rural migration dynamics. We find the Icelandic rural population to be highly mobile with about nine out of ten residents in different types of communities having lived elsewhere for at least a year, and between a quarter and one-third having lived in the Reykjavík capital area. Positive net in-migration to Akureyri from more rural regions corresponds exactly to negative out-migration towards the Reykjavík capital area and the steady long-term population growth of Akureyri can, thus, be attributed exclusively to natural fertility. However, micropolitan Akureyri does not appear to exacerbate rural out-migration in Northern Iceland. Residents of smaller communities in the north are not more likely to move than other rural residents – they are simply more likely to move to micropolitan Akureyri rather than the Reykjavík capital area.

  • 2.
    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.

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  • 3.
    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.

  • 4.
    Carson, Dean B.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. School of Business and Law, CQUniversity, Cairns, Australia.
    McGrail, Matthew
    Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Rockhampton, Australia.
    Sahay, Ashlyn
    School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, CQUniversity, Mackay, Australia.
    Regionalisation and general practitioner and nurse workforce development in regional northern Australia: Insights from 30 years of census migration data2022In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 91, p. 98-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this research is to investigate the extent to which Australia's northern cities have become increasingly important mediators of migration of nurses and general practitioners (GPs) to the regional north since the 1980s. Over that period, national and provincial policy has focused on ‘regionalisation’ of health workforce development, including creating education and training infrastructure outside of metropolitan areas. This paper hypothesises that the effectiveness of regionalisation in northern Australia should be reflected in an increased net flow of GPs and nurses from northern cities (which are the hubs of education and training) to the regional north. Data from the seven Australian Census between 1986 and 2016 are used to model changing patterns of migration. Overall, there was limited evidence of substantial change in migration patterns, although for GPs there was a reduction in migration from the key metropolitan source markets (Brisbane and Adelaide) matching an increase in supply from northern cities. Northern cities have consistently been the source of about one quarter of new nurse and GP migrants to the regional north, but the regional north has become a much less favoured destination for professionals leaving northern cities as cities' populations have grown much faster than regional populations. Net flows have remained small and for nurses have favoured the cities while for GPs favoured the regional north. The paper concludes that, while there is limited evidence of increased ‘spillover’ of labour from the cities to the regional north, there is also no evidence of the cities increasingly ‘spongeing’ regional labour. Cities and regional migration systems may be increasingly disconnected as labour demands diverge, but new connections are being created with the rest of non-metropolitan Australia. The research is the first to analyse health professional migration over such a long period, and contributes to the debates about the roles of cities in sparsely populated areas in the development of their rural and remote hinterlands.

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  • 5.
    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.

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  • 6.
    Carson, Doris A.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Carson, Dean B.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. School of Business and Law, CQUniversity, Australia.
    Argent, Neil
    University of New England.
    Cities, hinterlands and disconnected urban-rural development: Perspectives from sparsely populated areas2022In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 93, p. 104-111Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article introduces the special issue ‘Rural hinterland development in sparsely populated areas (SPAs): new challenges and opportunities arising from urbanisation within the periphery’. It problematises the relationships between growing cities and hinterland areas in SPAs, such as those commonly found in Arctic, Outback and similar remote resource peripheries of developed countries. Many SPAs are rapidly urbanising, with polarised development becoming an ever-increasing concern for regional planners and policy-makers. This special issue contributes to debates about the impact that urban growth and city-centric development strategies in SPAs might have on the development prospects for small and distant settlements in the hinterland. We first discuss why SPAs are different from other rural contexts when it comes to urban-rural interactions and introduce the idea of regional disconnectedness as a defining feature of SPAs. We then review the papers in this collection, which include perspectives from northern Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Scotland, Alaska, and Australia, and position them according to their contributions to theory, policy and practice. The special issue challenges assumptions that city-centric regional development in SPAs will automatically generate spillover or backwash effects for the hinterland. It emphasises the need to consider diverse mobility flows within SPAs as part of urban-rural interactions. It also raises attention to micro-scale urbanisation within the hinterland, with housing, services, and amenities increasingly concentrating in a few small towns. The final discussion outlines important areas for research into more effective urban-rural partnership building in SPAs and on how to embrace regional disconnectedness for more targeted hinterland development.

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  • 7. de Boon, Auvikki
    et al.
    Sandström, Camilla
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rose, David Christian
    Governing agricultural innovation: A comprehensive framework to underpin sustainable transitions2022In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 89, p. 407-422Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Innovations have the potential to help us address and overcome many of the challenges that agriculture is facing today. Yet, at the same time, they have the potential to create new, sometimes even more challenging, problems, especially when they are not governed in a sustainable way. Governing agricultural innovation sustainably requires understanding of all components that influence, and are influenced by, innovation processes, interactions across societal levels, and the normative and power dynamics that come together to shape the direction and outcomes of innovation processes. Hitherto, approaches to (agricultural) innovation and transition tend to specialize on a specific societal scale or sub-aspect of innovation or transition processes. In this article we aim to bring the strengths of some of the main approaches (Multi-Level Perspective, Agricultural Innovation Systems, Responsible Innovation, Innovation Management, Theory of Planned Behaviour) and insights from environmental governance literature together into a comprehensive framework. The framework describes seven key components and their interactions: macro context, governance system, immediate context, innovative and adaptive capacity of the actors, psychosocial factors, and the innovation process itself. Based on these, we present a subset of guiding questions that can be used diagnostically or for design purposes to support the sustainable governance of agricultural innovation processes.

  • 8.
    de Boon, Auvikki
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University.
    Sandström, Camilla
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rose, David Christian
    To adapt or not to adapt, that is the question: Examining farmers’ perceived adaptive capacity and willingness to adapt to sustainability transitions2024In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 105, article id 103171Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The agricultural sector is one of the areas that has been highlighted as requiring a sustainability transition. For these kinds of transitions to succeed over the long-term, farmers need to be able to adapt to the required changes. Identifying which individual and institutional aspects are important for farmers' adaptive capacity and willingness to adapt is therefore an essential step in gaining insight into the role of farmers’ agency in transition processes and their long-term sustainability. So far, adaptive capacity literature has mainly focused on adaptive capacity in relation to climate change or individual innovations, thereby leaving a knowledge gap on adaptive capacity in relation to sustainability transitions. In this study, we aim to address this by deepening our understanding of these aspects through 24 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with English farmers and organisations in the context of the post-Brexit agricultural transition. Whilst we found many similarities with previous adaptation literature in the context of climate change and individual innovation, we also found aspects that have not been prominent and thus seem to be specific for adaptation in relation to sustainability transitions. These include the dual role that access to finances and information can play; land ownership status in terms of having the right to implement adaptation measures; state of mind; feeling respected, appreciated, and understood; perceived level of control and ownership; and considerations of (global) consequences. Further research is needed to strengthen and further develop our findings, for example through case studies in other geographical locations or sectors.

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  • 9. 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.

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  • 10.
    Eimermann, Marco
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Adjei, Evans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Bjarnason, Thoroddur
    Lundmark, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Exploring population redistribution at sub-municipal levels: Microurbanisation and messy migration in Sweden’s high North2022In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 90, p. 93-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To contribute to more balanced perspectives on sub-municipal population change in sparsely populated areas(SPAs), this paper closely examines a local pocket of growth in a shrinking Northern Swedish municipality.Integrating Swedish register data with in-depth qualitative insights, the geographic study examines patterns andprocesses of uneven local population dynamics linked to life course migration. This is done through a sociospatialcluster analysis containing, first, 15 aggregate socioeconomic variables for sub-municipal areas, andthen individual characteristics like birth countries, age groups, sex ratios, educational attainment, andemployment status. A Foresight approach and interviews with locals, municipal officials, and incoming lifestylemigrants complement this. Studying these individuals’ practical compromises regarding housing, income, andleisure at sub-municipal levels helps in overcoming fallacies in population change research at broader regionallevels, and illustrates the limits of relying solely on quantitative demographic change indicators. The paper showsthat urban traits in the municipal centre and rural natural amenities around a dogsledding trail combine toattract and retain different population groups. This adds to population change studies and shows that municipaladministrative centres in SPAs are not necessarily growing while other villages are declining, and that populationredistribution at the municipal level does not automatically imply the movement of people to municipal centresfrom a municipality’s minor villages.

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  • 11.
    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.

  • 12.
    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.

  • 13.
    Hedberg, Charlotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Entwined ruralities: seasonality, simultaneity and precarity among transnational migrant workers in the wild berry industry2021In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 88, p. 510-517Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Agrarian industries in rural areas are increasingly relying on seasonal migrant workers, who arrive in transnationally organised settings. This paper focuses on the concept of transnational simultaneity in order to further analyse the dynamics that are sustaining low-wage, seasonal labour migration in transnational social fields. It is suggested that the concepts of seasonal livelihood diversification and biographical simultaneity contribute to explain this process, which is highlighted in relation to the empirical case of Thai wild berry pickers in Sweden. The ability of the workers to co-arrange life in the homeland with work overseas, together with a firmly institutionalised, transnational social network, lay the ground for the Thai-Swedish migration process. It is characterised by high circularity and frequency among the migrant workers, who oscillate on a seasonal basis between multi-sited work places, despite relatively low economic return. It is argued that simultaneity within the transnational social field, which is embedded in seasonal livelihood diversification and prospects of improved futures for their children, lowers the threshold for accepting exploitative work conditions, thus paving the way for precarious migrant work.

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  • 14.
    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.

  • 15.
    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.

  • 16. 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.

  • 17.
    Hudson, Christine
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Sandberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Contested hope for the future: Rural refugee reception as municipal survival?2021In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 82, p. 121-129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rural communities in the inland areas of Northern Sweden have long suffered from a steady population declineas young people, particularly women, have moved to the growing urban areas for education/employment.However, in recent years, alongside strategies for survival relating to tourism/hospitality industry, refugeereception has emerged as a strategy for survival whereby these rural municipalities seek to staunch the downwardspiral of decline by accepting refugees in the hope that this will provide not only job opportunities but alsosupport for local services. Using thematic analysis, we focus on media representations of rural refugee receptionin small municipalities Northern Sweden and aim to contribute to an understanding of how spatial and socialrelations are reproduced through these representations; to understand in how ‘the rural’ is constructed in relationto power relations such as race and gender and how these interact with a more explicit spatial power dimension.We are interested in understanding rural refugee reception as a contested hope for the future – a strategy forsurvival. Our analysis shows that the media highlight the stories of how the municipalities set their hopes onrefugee reception to ‘save’ the place not only by bringing in new, younger inhabitants, but also employmentopportunities. However, it also shows that refugee reception may become merely a short-term, temporary solutionand not something that challenges or changes the more general migratory patterns in Sweden.

  • 18.
    Keskitalo, E. Carina H.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography. Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden .
    Lidestav, Gun
    Westin, Kerstin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Lindgren, Urban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Understanding the multiple dynamics of the countryside - Examples from forest cases in northern Europe2020In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 78, p. 59-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rural literature has often been seen as expressing specific perceptions of the rural, largely based in an Anglo-Saxon conception of agricultural rural idyllic landscapes. Based on studies of forest ownership (in Sweden, but also comparatively), we suggest that an understanding of forest and forest ownership can illustrate the dynamic and shifting role of rural areas: as both rural and urban, based on both forest property and second-home ownership; that forest areas are not only post-production landscapes but continuously also production areas, in addition to many other use patterns; as areas of buzz and forest-related industrial and services growth, and thus rural growth; and that Sweden and more broadly Fennoscandia are areas with different habitation patterns and linkages between nature and population than what has often been described in the broader rural literature.

  • 19.
    Kvist, Elin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS). Umeå centrum för genusstudier.
    Who's there?: Inclusive growth, ‘white rurality’ and reconstructing rural labour markets2020In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 73, p. 234-242Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The rural Swedish north is under reconstruction. The challenges of living and working in the region are dealt with through the regional growth policy area. In this article, the applications that received funds from the EU's regional structural funding programme directed towards the Swedish north are studied. Distributions of such funds are, of course, evaluated and audited by all established rules and regulation. Evaluations that every year conclude that labour market sectors that traditionally employ women get less funding than sectors that employ men and that no significant change in this pattern has been seen over the years. How can this be understood? The funded projects applications are thematically structured using topic modelling, and after that, analysed using deconstructive policy analysis to understand how different subject positions are discursively constructed in the implementation of the regional growth policy. Concluding that, despite the high ambition, the policy that is supposed to enable opportunities for everyone to live and earn a living throughout the entire country, risks instead of being part of recreating established norms and

  • 20.
    Lindberg, Jens
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lundgren, Anna Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    The affective atmosphere of rural life and digital healthcare: understanding older persons' engagement in eHealth services2022In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, no 95, p. 77-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The implementation of digital healthcare technologies—eHealth—is presented as a solution to increasing costs, demographic changes, and quality issues in rural healthcare. Employing the concept of affective atmospheres, this article uses interviews to explore the emotional aspects of digital healthcare among rural persons of advanced age. Our results suggest that participants were clearly influenced by an affective atmosphere that was deeply embedded in spatial imageries as well as in notions of old age. Strong feelings of resignation, necessity, low entitlement, and defiance tended to encourage participants’ wishes for local face-to-face healthcare to translate into viewing eHealth solutions as positive. This also meant that participants came to enact neoliberal identities of “active ageing”. In conclusion, the concept of affective atmospheres highlights how human subjects and digital materialities interact in the production of human emotional responses to digital healthcare technologies, and emphasises how the conditions and shared imageries of geographic space and age are active components in that process.

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  • 21.
    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.

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  • 22.
    Lundgren, Anna Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Nilsson, Bo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    "For the good of the village": volunteer initiatives and rural resilience2023In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 102, article id 103104Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As a consequence of cutbacks in the welfare sector, rural populations have reacted to their situation by taking over and operating activities that are threatened by closures, such as schools, grocery stores and health centres, for themselves. Such initiatives are often referred to as examples of rural resilience. Drawing on interviews, this paper explores participants' narratives about rural initiatives aiming to retain and develop local welfare and community services. It pays specific heed to how notions of resilience reside within the narratives – the ideological convictions and challenges they entail, and the practices they make (im)possible. The study shows that participants’ narratives about resilient villages and initiatives indirectly support the neoliberal rural policy focus on regional responsibility to create growth. It argues that, in order to understand the appeal of the neoliberal positions and practices that resilience thinking proved to entail, it is important to recognise the intersections of space and identity, and to explore the local spatial experiences and imageries in relation to which resilience practices appear desirable and necessary, as well as the specific rural identities that resilience discourse supports.

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  • 23. Mbiba, Monicah
    et al.
    Collinson, Mark A.
    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.

  • 24.
    Mešić, Nedžad
    et al.
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Wikström, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Ruptures and acts of citizenship in the Swedish berry-picking industry2021In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 88, p. 518-526Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish berry industry relies today on two categories of agricultural seasonal workers: ‘third country nationals’, commonly from South-East Asia, who are granted seasonal work permits for berry picking; and another category designated as ‘free pickers’, mostly EU citizens who sell the harvested berries directly to Swedish berry buyers. With regard to both categories of berry-pickers, successive scandals have plagued the industry. Workers who arrive in Sweden hoping for lucrative employment have ended up with large debts, not able to return home, or have become trapped into ‘forced labour’. This article builds partly on results from our previous research projects on berry pickers in Sweden that centre upon recurrent crises, highlighting the social invisibility of berry-pickers that both enables and adds to their precarity and exploitability. In this paper, our research objective is to study the visibilisation of the pickers' situation of socio-economic precarity and their need for substantive rights. The empirical data comprises interviews and observations collected in 2010–2013, and additional follow-up interviews gathered in 2019–2020. The analytical approach follows theoretical notions of ruptures and acts of citizenship, leading to visibilisation and mobilisation. Key findings identify the occurrence of ruptures contributing to a visibilisation of the berry pickers' plight and to civil society calls for the improvement of their employment rights. Berry-worker protests that make their situation visibile are acts of citizenship which have led to wider mobilisations, but in recent years these have been counteracted, not least, by co-ordinated (local and national) authorities and by landowner responses to such challenges. We argue that these counter-responses can add to invisibilisation, thus becoming pre-emptive bureaucratic actions.

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  • 25.
    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. 

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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Zachrisson, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Bjärstig, Therese
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Thellbro, Camilla
    Neumann, Wiebke
    Svensson, Johan
    Participatory comprehensive planning to handle competing land-use priorities in the sparsely populated rural context2021In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 88, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rural areas supply the planet's natural resources while simultaneously harbor refuges for most of the world's remaining biodiversity and intact, resilient ecosystems. Since traditional extractive activities must increasingly co-exist with non-exploitative activities such as tourism and conservation, sustainable land use planning is essential for managing trade-offs between incompatible interests in rural areas. With "communicative planning" being promoted since decades, participation is considered crucial for reconciling different planning interests. However, the implementation of participation remains patchy and uneven, not least in sparsely populated regions with low capacity where participation could be a game-changer. Here, we consider municipal comprehensive planning as an existing arena to explore participatory planning approaches potentially capable of simultaneously managing competing land uses and promoting sustainable development in sparsely populated rural contexts. Collaborative work between researchers and public managers resulted in the co-development of an approach based on qualitative village- and interest-based focus groups that facilitated the formulation, negotiation, and legitimization of concrete and detailed local guidelines that prioritize between different land uses. Consequently, the resulting comprehensive plan draft was more readily adopted than the output of a traditional planning process. We found that citizens in sparsely populated municipalities seem willing to actively contribute to rural development processes if they have significant influence.

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