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Rural morality: meaning, mobilisation and citizenship in initiatives for a sustainable rural Swedish North

Research project The project studies contemporary politicization of the Swedish rural North.

A central question concerns the workings of morality and emotion when people engage in the struggle for rural areas in the light of cutbacks, exploitations and demographic changes. What do emotion and morality mean for meaning making, mobilisation strategies and notions of citizenship in the struggle to define and defend life in rural places. The project consists of five case studies that investigate how morality and emotion underpin quite different mobilisation strategies and understandings of rural citizenship. Together they provide the opportunity to study how contemporary initiatives politicise rurality in different ways and with different results. Ethnographic methods are used: semi-structured interviews, observations, and text analyses. The material is analysed using a discourse theoretical approach. By examining the moral basis for how the rural Swedish North is comprehended in different contexts, the project creates an understanding of what promotes or impedes readiness for societal change in Norrlandic rural environments.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2015-01-01 2018-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Culture and Media Studies

Research subject

Ethnology, Human geography