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02.2 Domestic migration in liquid modernity

Tuesday, June 27, 2023
15:45 - 17:15


Dr. Tim Leibert
Senior Researcher
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

Voting with the feet? Age- and sex-selective migration and ‘left behindness’ in rural Germany


The electoral success of the right-wing populist “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) in the federal elections 2017 and European elections 2019 has triggered a discussion on living conditions – especially in rural areas – and regional disparities in Germany. Some observers have even seen the AfD's entry into the Bundestag as a “revenge of the villages” and an indicator that Germany is growing dangerously apart. ‘Left behind’ places are frequently in the center of discussions on “rural discontent” and its electoral outcomes. Most of these structurally weak and economically declining rural regions are highly affected by the consequences of demographic change: population decline, dynamic ageing and age- and sex-selective migration.
We use the concept of peripheralization to operationalize ‘left behindness’ of rural districts (NUTS3-regions). Out-migration is one of the core indicators of peripheralization, especially the out-migration of young people in general and young women in particular. Comparing ‘left behind’ and ‘non-left behind’ rural districts, we analyze the migration patterns with a specific focus on young adults and labor-market entrants who are the most mobile population groups in Germany. We will use data from the longitudinal German socio-economic Panel (SOEP) to gain a deeper understanding of the individual characteristics of migrants and stayers and how growing up in ‘left behind’ and ‘non-left behind’ places affect individual livelihood strategies, employment biographies and (im)mobility patterns.
Yue Mao
Early Stage Researcher
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

Habituating Urbanity through Practice: The (Re)Production of “Rurban” in Collaborative Workspaces


Against the backcloth of global urbanization, this paper investigates how urbanity is habituated through practices in rural places, reproducing and constituting “Rurban” habitus beyond the conventional urban-rural dichotomy.
The divide between urban and rural has been perforated. This can be observed not only in macro-scale socioeconomic changes in rural places but also in daily practices that reflect micro-processes and micro-politics of negotiation between global trends and local conditions. Theoretically, this paper deploys “global countryside” (Woods, 2007) to construct a relational understanding of the (re)production of rural space under globalization, and “habitual urbanity” (Dirksmeier, 2006) to specify how urbanity is experienced as the ability to coop with strangeness and contingencies in changing rural places.
A review of the emergence of collaborative workspaces (CWS) in rural places, preliminarily in Europe, is conducted to contextualize this complexity. Typically understood as an urban intervention for more flexible employment conditions nowadays, CWSs also start to appear in rural places along with rising societal interest in remote working, digital nomadism, and lifestyle migration. “Rurban” habitus is therefore constituted by both cosmopolitan and place-based practices in CWSs, or more precisely, a constructed set of “rural” practices (re)produced by global urbanization.
This research aims to look at global urbanization in rural places beyond a subordinate process, but as a ground to critically discuss the heterogeneity and possibilities of urban-rural relationships. Further place-based research shall be followed up to illustrate more micro-scale details of the generative dispositions and processes of the “Rurban” habitus.
Marine Preault
Jean Moulin University Lyon 3

Mobilities and income flows in rural and suburban areas : the case of Communauté de commune de la Dombes


The observed increase in population mobility is re-emerging the concept of residential economy and economic base theory (DAVEZIES, 2008). Due to the income flows associated with individual mobilities allows a redistribution of incomes outside the metropolises. (TALANDIER, 2007) We observe that « Production is concentrated in the metropolises, the population – and with it the income – is constantly expanding accross the country » (TALANDIER, 2011). It is therefore an asset for the rural environment, generating income independently of their productive capacity and enhancing the amenities of these territories. (DORE, 2017)
We want to show the point of a local analysis of incomes flows and its role in thedevelopment of the rural and suburban areas. We also wonder about the impact of the 2019-2020 confinements on these mobilites and therefore on these territories during and after this period.
The study area (Communauté de communes de la Dombes) is composed of 36 municipalities close to the Lyon metropolis (1,4 million inhabitants), but also cities of Bourg-en-Bresse (41 000), Macon (138 000) and Villefranche-sur-Saône (36 000). In this way it has varied territories : rural under the attaction of a metropolis, under the attraction of medium-sized cities but also rural outside the area of attraction of cities (INSEE Références, 2011).
This work is based on a survey of a sample of 381 inhabitants of the territory. The results can be accompagnied with quantitative data on the territory’s residential economy and extracts from interviw conduced with the territory’s elected representatives.
Dr. Olli Lehtonen
University of Eastern Finland

Impact of the multi-local living on municipalities – empirical evidence from Finland


In the simplest definition, multi-local living means that a person or family has more than one residence or place to stay for a longer period. The concept of multi-locality is a current and global phenomenon, and in Finland it has become common during the last few decades. However, systematic analysis from the impacts of the multi-local living on municipalities is missing. In this paper, we advocate taking temporary population into account when planning local development strategies as it can contribute to the development of rural areas equally to the permanent population. Although not being registered as residents, multi-local people also use local infrastructure and services, and presumably have impact on the availability and status of the infrastructure and services in multi-local municipalities. The aim of this paper is to analyse based on GIS and matching method analysis the impact of the multi-local living on the availability of the infrastructure, services (commercial, health), and housing prices in municipalities with varying intensity of multi-local living. The results show that multi-local living creates challenges for provisioning infrastructure but offers possibilities for municipalities to maintain some services in municipalities with the high intensity of multi-local living.

Session host

Thoroddur Bjarnason
Professor of Sociology
University of Iceland

Marco Eimermann
Umea University Sweden



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

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