Conditioned receptiveness: Nordic rural elite perceptions of immigrant contributions to local resilience
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSøholt S, Stenbacka, Nørgaard. Conditioned receptiveness: Nordic rural elite perceptions of immigrant contributions to local resilience. Journal of Rural Studies. 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2018.05.004
Drawing on case studies among rural elites in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, this study investigates how rural elites in Nordic rural communities link immigration to rural resilience as expressed in their place narratives. Applying the dual concepts of retention vs. receptiveness and exclusion vs. inclusion, we find that rural elites relate variously to immigration and local resilience, but that immigrants are deemed valuable for the local economy, and for population growth. Further, rural elites expect immigrants to become co-producers for local resilience. We term the elites' views conditioned receptiveness. The study sheds light on how rural elites' norms of diversity influence how ‘difference’ is placed and handled through processes of inclusion/exclusion vs. retention and receptiveness, with the rural as an enabling space for building local resilience.