The working group deals explicitly with residential mobility and immobility to underline that rural areas are not necessarily and always left behind. In many rural areas we see that different movements are taking place at the same time with people staying, coming and leaving (e.g. refugees, unskilled labour migrants, skilled migrants, lifestyle migrants). It is important to consider the temporality and spatiality of (im)mobilities and the social characteristics of those who stay, come or leave. Zooming in and zooming out may allow us to better understand how rural places interact with other areas – nearby or at distance, urban and rural regions as well as internationally. The aim of this working group is to better understand the phenomenon of rural (im)mobility, its causes and consequences in terms of the viability and liveability of rural areas and, hence, social and spatial (in)equality.
Through a focus on various peoples’ (im)mobilities and resulting changing relationships to rural places, the proposed WG tackles the conference’s “social justice” theme. We invite papers that give insight in the empirical reality of rural (im)mobilities as well as papers that engage with theoretical frameworks of explanation. Papers are invited on any aspect of residential (im)mobility and socio and/or spatial inequalities; however, given our intention to consider some of the WG papers for a publication on mobility and territorial inequalities we are particularly interested in the following questions:
- Who moves into rural areas or stays there, leaves them and/or returns to them? How do such decisions result in social and/or spatial inequalities? Are their residential choices motivated by perceptions of social and/or spatial inequalities?
- In what sense do (perceptions of) the quality of life and the reputation of sending and receiving rural regions influence decisions to stay or move?
- How do (international) labour market developmens affect the decision to stay/move in rural settings?
- Rural diversity: what is the impact of (im)mobility processes, and how can we explain their contribution to the emergence of rural differences?
- What are the policy issues associated with (im)mobility and socio-spatial inequalities? What strategies do private actors and public authorities pursue in order to attract what kind of migrants (the “good”/”bad” migrant)?
- Traditional workshop: 3-4 papers presented by authors in advance of opening the floor for Q&As and wider discussion.
- Split session: Traditional short paper presentation followed by small table discussions.
Please send your abstracts no later than 10 January 2019 to all three contact persons: