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The importance of the UK’s rural spaces to EU8 migrants

MacKrell, Paulina Anna

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Paulina Anna MacKrell


Simon Pemberton

Clare Holdsworth


This PhD examines the importance of rural space to new migrants. Developing upon existing work (for example, Spencer et al., 2007), it explores the lives of economic migrants beyond the workplace and the ways in which they i) understand and define the rural space; ii) inform and shape the nature of different rural spaces; and iii) how such spaces impinge upon their (migrants’) experiences, identities and spatial practices in the context of rural space in the UK. Based on 60 in-depth interviews, and additional 20 follow up interviews with EU8 nationals, residing in both rural and urban areas of the North-West of England, this study examines how and in what ways the countryside might be important to EU8 migrants. In order to do so, the research first considers the different influences that shape EU8 migrants’ representations of rural, as well as how such representations are entwined with materiality of rural space and their experiences and practices in the UK’s countryside. Further research also explored the complicated relationship between rural mobilities and fixities, whilst revealing the nature of these mobilities, including the flows of migrants to, from and through rural settings, as well as the struggles with practicing mobilities in the context of everyday. This PhD finally provides a number of important new insights into the engagement and practices through which EU8 migrants have sought to influence and shape rural spaces and communities in locally distinctive ways.


MacKrell, P. A. (2019). The importance of the UK’s rural spaces to EU8 migrants. (Thesis). Keele University. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Public URL
Award Date 2019-10


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