Alternative countrysides

Anthropology and rural West Europe today

in Alternative countrysides

To set the scene for the rest of the book, this chapter discusses the evolving discourses of the rural and the urban, the exploitation of this discourse by some political parties, and the rise of the heritage industry. It then proceeds to survey the literature, in both anthropology and geography, on north European immigration into rural Western Europe: who these people are, when they arrived, what effects have they had on the social, economic, and political life of the places they chose to settle in. Since this material is relatively scanty, I have also relied on material within popular travelogues. I then discuss, in a similar manner, the nature and consequence of labour migration from North Africa and Eastern Europe to these areas. I conclude by considering the roles anthropologists can play today in today’s countrysides, in the development of rural life and the formulation of rural policy.

Alternative countrysides

Anthropological approaches to rural Western Europe today

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