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02.3 Domestic migration in liquid modernity

Thursday, June 29, 2023
9:00 - 10:30


Gréta Bergrún Jóhannesdóttir
Phd Student
University Of Akureyri

Gossip and migration intentions in rural Iceland.


Small communities often become tightly knit social spaces, where each individual is not just important for the function of the community, but also quite visible to others living there. Flow of information becomes personal, where there will be gossip about the people living in such a space. Gossip has often been considered on of the social factors making live in small communities a challenge for people and their happiness with living in such a place. Gossip is often linked to women but a recent study in rural Iceland shows no gender difference of the amount of gossip that people estimate to be about themselves in their community. It also shows statistically significant relations between migration intentions and the amount of gossip. There are also complex power relations within the flow of gossip, where being a local is favorable. Social capital and family relations affect the gossip, and the shaming that often follows and flows with the stories. Having a reputation does in fact influence the life of an individual in a tight social space, and having your closest family living there can work as a shield against the gossip. Some people are though likely to take the flight response of migration instead of the fight response, against harsh gossip and shaming. Research data is from a survey conducted in 56 rural communities in Iceland and from interviews with young women in small fishing villages in Iceland.
Dr. Julie Fromentin
University of Strasbourg

A new look at social change in rural areas: the role of inward internal migration to small French towns


This presentation focuses on the social dynamics of residential mobility to small towns in the French context. Even though they are structuring centralities of rural areas, small towns remain understudied, particularly with regard to internal migration. When they are studied, it is most often from the perspective of urban decline, and small towns are then seen as places of outward residential mobility. Nevertheless, some recent studies have shown the crucial role played by small towns in the residential mobility of the elderly (Steinführer & Grossmann, 2021), demonstrating the importance of a renewed analysis of migration towards these types of spaces. This presentation is in line with this approach and provides the preliminary results of an ongoing research on social change linked to inward residential mobility in small towns. Using individual data from the population censuses (2008-2013-2018), a two-level analysis is proposed. First, we analyze the flows of inward residential mobilities to small towns, the social characteristics of this population, and its contribution to social change, particularly to explore the hypothesis of an increase in residential mobilities of socially disadvantaged individuals and families to small towns. We then relate these patterns and dynamics of social change to the demographic and economic characteristics and trajectories of small towns. Through a fine-scale analysis attentive to the variety of settlement types and the specificity of small towns in the restructuring of rural spaces, this work revisits, details and specifies the links between counterurbanization and social classes (Milbourne, 2007; Halfacree, 2008) in reshaping rural areas.
Pierre Pistre
Senior Lecturer In Human Geography
University of Paris Cité

In time of crises. What about internal migration to the French rural areas since the early 2000s?


Based on quantitative analyses at the national scale, my presentation focuses on internal migration towards French rural areas since the beginning of the 2000s. During this time period, two World crisis – financial in 2007-2008 and COVID since 2020 – have potentialy modified demographic and migration processes in depth. We make the assumption that they have been different consequences on the demographic renewal trend of the sparsely populated areas since the 1980-1990s: a "brake effect" of the financiel crisis versus a "accelerating effect" of the COVID crisis. About recent trends, the aim is both to assess the existence of an "urban exodus" - especially named like this in France by the media - while qualifying it with regard to past dynamics. First results show a positive effect at the end of 2020 and the first part of 2021, but trends less clear after this period.

At least in the French context, the main issue is about data available. To have sufficiently recent and detailed data, my study is based on two open and public sources: firstly, aggregated and indivdual census data from 1999 to 2020 (it means the last annual survey available in the census 2018) for updating demographic trends in the municipalities less than 10 000 inhabitants (Pistre, 2016); secondly, individual "land values data" (DVF database) since 2014 – according to the data preparation method of Mériskay and Demores (2022) – to evaluate the most recent "pull effects" through the volume of real estate sales and the price’s changes.
Patrick Kahle
Bielefeld Graduate School In History And Sociology

Is there domestic migration of refugees in arrival regions?


Global migration impacts municipalities in multiple ways. Refugees reaching a destination country are distributed to that area by the national administration. However, a few refugees use the freedom of movement granted to them to search for other places to live within this country. The (un)attractiveness of an arrival region's features (transportation links, socially stimulating neighborhoods, educational opportunities) affects the refugees. Their departure may be a reminder of domestic migration of the autochthone population already occurred or occurring and contrast that rural areas can benefit from international migration.
We observe such cases as domestic migration of refugees creating a peculiar situation: the host communities initially envisioned are not the place to stay for both the refugees and the social and community workers who take care of them.
Our presentation focuses on local government social services employees specialized in migration and integration. They are engaged in an unequal and sometimes futile struggle against the social conditions of liquid modernity, in which individualized, private problems can no longer be transformed into public, collectively addressed concerns. The migrants (in their freedom of choice) can neither be convinced to stay, nor their freedom of movement be restricted, and the autochthons, who stayed despite the tendency to emigrate, can certainly not be inspired for a joint project with the refugees.
Drawing on a qualitative study of 53 interviews, we explore the sense of place of those who have to deal professionally with the departure of refugees in a place with a history of domestic migration.



Contact for questions about abstracts or registration: groningen@congressbydesign.com 

Contact for questions about the content of the programme: ruralgeo2023@rug.nl