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ERIC Number: EJ989630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
"The Rotten Banana" Fires Back: The Story of a Danish Discourse of "Inclusive" Rurality in the Making
Winther, Malene Brandt; Svendsen, Gunnar Lind Haase
Journal of Rural Studies, v28 n4 p466-477 Oct 2012
The popularity of a particular term--the Rotten Banana--has paralleled the one-sided centralisation of public services since the Danish Municipal Reform of 2007. The Rotten Banana denotes peripheral Denmark, which takes a geographically curved form that resembles a banana, and it symbolises the belief that rural areas are backward and (too) costly. This article shows how the negative connotations of rural areas have come to outweigh the positive ones and to legitimise liberal visions of the "sustainable" welfare state. Whereas previous studies on the perceptions of rural dwellers have focused on the discourses of rurality that produce rural outsiders, this article builds on the work of de Certeau and of Laclau and Mouffe. Based on both quantitative and qualitative data, the study shows how, in Denmark, negative connotations and centralisation have together spurred a new and political mobilisation in many parts of the "banana". Through skilful "consumption", rural dwellers have adapted the alienating liberalist "logic of equivalence" to their own use and produced a "logic of difference", thus challenging the predominant political discourse of rurality. As a result, the Danish Liberal government was forced to introduce a new and more inclusive rural policy in September of 2010 and grant rural dwellers a political voice in parliament. (Contains 8 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark