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Rural belonging, place attachment and youth educational mobility: Rural parents' views


Abbott-Chapman, J and Johnston, R and Jetson, T, Rural belonging, place attachment and youth educational mobility: Rural parents' views, Rural Society: The Journal of Research Into Rural and Regional Social Issues in Australia, 23, (3) pp. 296-308. ISSN 1037-1656 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/10371656.2014.11082072


Strong feelings of place attachment were revealed by mixed methods research conducted among parents living in rural and remote areas of Tasmania. The main aim of the small-scale study was to investigate the relationship between rural parents’ place attachment and sense of belonging and their reactions to their children’s need to move out of the area for education at the post-compulsory level. In their analysis of ‘belonging,’ as an expression of the bonds between the individual and community, the authors draw upon Durkheim’s concepts of ‘mechanical’ and ‘organic’ solidarity and Bourdieu’s concept of ‘social capital.’ The meaning of belonging, its emotional, social and functional dimensions, and its contribution to resilience in times of economic hardship and environmental disaster were explored through parents’ views on the benefits and disadvantages of rural living, especially for young people. The strength of belonging was found not to be associated with parents’ reactions to their children having to move away from the local area for education and/or employment, even amongst the longest settled families. Instead, youth mobility was seen as an accepted, and sometimes welcomed, cultural norm in pursuit of education and employment opportunities only available in towns, despite the loss to rural families and communities that youth out-migration represents. The engagement in ‘self-reliance’ discourses that prioritise education as preparation of rural young people for the hybridities of place identities in a globalising world overrode differences in parental education levels, geographical and historical context and types of livelihood, and challenged some negative rural stereotypes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community wellbeing, post-secondary education, regional difference, resilience, youth mobility
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Abbott-Chapman, J (Professor Joan Abbott-Chapman)
UTAS Author:Johnston, R (Dr Robbie Johnston)
UTAS Author:Jetson, T (Dr Timothy Jetson)
ID Code:98354
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-02-12
Last Modified:2017-11-21

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