Interpreting amenities, envisioning the future: common ground and conflict in North Carolina’s rural coastal communities
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- Boucquey, N., Campbell, L.M., Cumming, G. et al. GeoJournal (2012) 77: 83. doi:10.1007/s10708-010-9387-1
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This paper contributes to ongoing discussions about the implications of rural change and amenity migration for members of diverse rural communities. We engage with recent amenity migration and political ecology literature that focuses on social constructions of nature and landscapes, and how these constructions affect the attitudes and opinions of community members. We use our case study of a mail-based survey in Down East, North Carolina to suggest that the ways in which people conceptualize the particular ‘natures’ and landscapes of a place matters in terms of shaping people’s attitudes with respect to ongoing processes of change. We find that people’s opinions about environment, culture, and land use are often superficially similar but that when conflicts arise or particular actions are considered, substantial differences in people’s underlying conceptual frameworks are revealed. In particular we find that despite widespread shared appreciation of the environment and culture Down East, differing interpretations of these key terms lead to potential misunderstandings and land use planning challenges.