Accepted paper:

Hopes and dreams: against the mobility imperative of rural youth

Authors:

Sari Tuuva-Hongisto (South-Eastern University of Applied Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

Presentation explores young people in rural and remote places in Eastern Finland, who wishes to stay at their home places, against the prevailing mobility imperative.

Paper long abstract:

The presentation explores young people in rural and remote places, who wishes to stay at their home places, against the prevailing mobility imperative. The framework of mobility imperative understands mobilities across three dimensions: the structural, the symbolic and the non-representational. (Farrugia 2015). Rural young people are structurally disadvantaged: the education and work opportunities are increasingly concentrated in urban centers. This presentation is based on research project: "Forgotten minority? Young people in remote villages and municipal welfare services". The research was conducted in autumn 2015 and it explored rural young people's lives that are shaped by sparse opportunities. The study concentrated on rural youth's experiences living in a remote village, their education possibilities, experiences of welfare services, social relations, leisure opportunities and future dreams. Research sites were in eastern Finland, which is sparsely populated rural and remote area with long distances to centers (20-50 kilometres to schools, commercial and municipal services). Methodologically the study follows ethnographic approach. The research material consist on 32 ethnographic interviews with rural young, aged 14-17. Living in rural and remote places offers special kinds of richness and scarcities. The position is structurally unequal: the absence of possibilities to education and work; the global mobility is reshaping rural youth and regions. Living close to the nature, do-it-yourself -life, sensory freedom, individualism and self-employment are on the other hand the benefits of rural life and dimensions of the hopes and dreams of staying.

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panel P146
Moving from, moving to, moving in the countryside: ethnographic perspectives on rural mobilities [SIEF panel]