Traditionally policies for the development of rural areas have focussed on the ‘catching up’ with core areas. More recently however identity has become a focal point in rural planning.
The increasing attention for local identity conflicts with the overwhelming power of globalisation and standardisation. In this context, the book examines the identity of rural areas. It makes clear that a rural identity is not a ‘natural’ or ‘objective’ fact, but is ascribed by actors who have different interests in the development of an area. This implies the existence of multiple identities. Furthermore, identities are contested, and revolve around the question of which actors claim which rural identity for which purpose and on the basis of which authority. The book states that identity construction is not static, but a dynamic process embedded in wider socio-economic processes. Identity and policy share a two-way relationship: policies based on identity actually shape the identity at the same time.
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Claiming Rural Identities
1 Claiming rural identities
Part I Rural Identities
2 Continuities and discontinuities in representations of the rural in the Netherlands
3 Whose landscape values? Central goals versus local perspectives in planning and management of the rural landscape
4 Identity and rurality in Flanders
Part II Grounding rural identities
5 Agriculture: still a key to rural identity?
6 The qualities of rural areas in the Netherlands and Flanders: space and the rural landscape
7 Housing as a rural quality
8 Revealed and stated preferences for rural living. Evidence from the Netherlands
9 Contemporary migrations in rural England: some alternative perspectives
10 An alternative to standarisation and conservation in tourism development: a process approach of innovation
Part III Identity-based rural policies
11 Integrated area-based rural development in the Midwest of Ireland: transferable success factors
12 Quality and identity in rural development
13 Reclaiming rural identities