Boundary Crossings: Migration, Belonging/'Un-Belonging in Rural Scotland

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International migration and the presence of minority ethnic groups have been perceived as urban phenomena, resulting in binary conceptualisations of urban spaces as `cosmopolitan¿ and rural spaces and people as culturally `homogeneous¿. Following the expansion of the European Union in 2004, international migration to rural Scotland has received growing attention and is perceived as a way of addressing population decline. This has led to an increased interest in issues of `integration¿ and `retention¿ as a way of `fixing¿ migrants to the places they have migrated to, and migration and mobility in rural areas are disrupting notions of rural places as `fixed¿ and isolated¿. Drawing on a number of qualitative research projects undertaken in the north of Scotland, the chapter focuses on international migrants and the ways in which they negotiate their identities and sense of belonging. It argues that places, spaces and people are mutually constitutive of each other in a changing context. Concepts such as `translocalism¿ potentially provide a useful mechanism to explore the plurality of rural spaces and voiceswithin a dynamic and stretched context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranslocal Ruralism .
Subtitle of host publicationMobility and Connectivity in European Rural Spaces
EditorsCharlotta Hedberg, Renato Miguel do Carmo
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-2314-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • translocality , space, place
  • belonging , identity
  • agency , home making


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