Towards a new typology of rural stayers

Authors: Aileen Stockdale*, , Tialda Haartsen, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Topics: Population Geography, Rural Geography
Keywords: immobility, stayers, staying, rural
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 11:50 AM / 1:05 PM
Room: Colorado, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Majestic Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Population and rural geography research has mainly focused on the 'migration discourse' and has given limited attention to those who do not move (stayers). Yet, national migration rates are in decline and the expansion of daily-life and virtual mobilities (e.g. commuting and social media) has increased the possibilities to stay. This paper responds to recent calls to get a more nuanced picture of rural stayer types and processes, concentrating on the agency of stayers and viewing staying as a positive and deliberate decision which is re-evaluated over the life course. Where stayers have been examined in the past, largely qualitative approaches have been adopted. Such studies have identified that contemporary rural stayers and staying processes are more diverse than expected.
In this paper we present preliminary quantitative analyses of a large 2019 dataset that was collected in three European countries (Northern Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany) as part of the STAYin(g)Rural research project. This project seeks to shed new insights on contemporary types of rural stayers and staying processes across the life course, and focuses on three life course stages: young adulthood, family formation and post-retirement. This paper presents a preliminary typology of contemporary rural stayers, based on individual and household characteristics and perceptions of the rural.

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