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New representations of rural space: Eastern European migrants and the denial of poverty and deprivation in the English countryside

Pemberton, S; Mackrell, P


P Mackrell


To date, there has been relatively little focus on Eastern European 'accession' (EU8) migrants' representations of the rural in Western Europe. Through drawing on research conducted in England, this paper highlights how the materiality of the English countryside strongly shapes EU8 migrants' views of rural space. In turn, their representations of the rural as 'idyll', as social and cultural capital and as relational, coupled with their own moral values promoting self-sufficiency serve to perpetuate the rural as being 'problem free'. Furthermore, the conflation of the rural idyll with 'Englishness' and 'whiteness' provides EU8 migrants living in the countryside with the opportunity to become involved in various aspects of rural community life. Consequently, the paper argues that their actions, as well as their representations of the rural, further contribute to the cultural 'screening out' of rural problems.

Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2018
Publication Date Apr 1, 2018
Journal Journal of Rural Studies
Print ISSN 0743-0167
Publisher Elsevier
Pages 49-57
Keywords EU8 migrants, rural, materiality, idyll, problem free
Publisher URL