ERIC Number: EJ744259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Rural Youths' Images of the Rural
Rye, Johan Fredrik
Journal of Rural Studies, v22 n4 p409-421 Oct 2006
Following the cultural turn within the social sciences, recent debates on how to conceptualise "the rural" have focused on "rurality" as a phenomenon produced by processes of social construction. This paper presents an empirical account of the outcome of these social construction processes through an analysis of how teenagers in a remote rural area in Norway reflect on the concept of "rurality." What do they perceive as key characteristics of rurality? Contrary to most previous studies in the field, the data presented in this paper are collected from a large sample and through quantitative methods. This enables a more thorough description of the variety of images of the countryside, as well as an assessment of the degree to which they are representative in statistical terms. Importantly, the research design also allows for an analysis of how these images are related to structural variables, such as social class position, gender and migration trajectory. The results indicate that the majority of rural youth keep a view of the countryside that is in accordance with the "rural idyll"/"rural dull" concepts--these two images of the rural being complementary rather than contradictory. However, there is a huge diversity in the rural youth's images of the rural, the predominant view being far from hegemonic. To some extent these differences follow structural lines, e.g., those on the top "and" the bottom of the social ladder have more positive views of the rural than others.
Descriptors: Rural Youth, Rural Areas, Foreign Countries, Data Collection, Research Design, Social Class, Sex, Migration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway