Geographies of wellbeing and place attachment: Revisiting urban-rural migrants
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Rural Studies. 2020, 78, 438-446. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.06.041
There is a notable lack of attention to the post-migration everyday lives of rural idyll seekers. Do they find the good life in the countryside? The overall purpose of the article is to contribute to filling this research gap. It reports a follow-up study in which urban–rural migrants within Norway who were first interviewed in 1998 were interviewed again in the period 2015–2016. It is argued that migration should be perceived as an ongoing process without an end point, as it is related to negotiations on life course events and lifestyle aspirations, among other things. The main aim is to elaborate on how urban–rural migrants' well-being and place attachment are connected to whether they stay in or leave the countryside. Through presentations of couples' histories, the article focuses on what people are attached to and the associated consequences for their well-being. The stories illustrate the significance of social relations, materialities, the past and memories, and emotions and affects. The author concludes that scholarship of rural studies and studies of internal migration would benefit from wellbeing and place attachment research in order for careful consideration to be given to the role of an emplaced wellbeing and its linkages with place attachment for migration when thinking about how ‘the rural’ and ‘the good life’ intersect.