Reading Lefebvre from the Periphery: Thinking Globally About the Rural

  • Michael CorbettEmail author
Part of the Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices book series (STEP, volume 14)


The term “rural” has a great deal of baggage about which a great deal has been written. One key component of this baggage is the sense in which rurality is somehow a local, placed, and concrete natural phenomenon which is set off against abstract, fluid, mobile, and significantly, cultural ideas which are central to most conceptions of globalization. The idea of receding ruralities and ascendant cities is a central trope of this discourse. This paper draws on narrative analysis of my own standpoint as a person who lives rurally, who conducts primarily qualitative research in rural places, and yet who teaches and does research that attempts to understand rurality at a conceptual level within the ambit of spatially diverse and distributed change forces which are trans-local in nature. I argue, using Lefebvre’s complex, multilayered conception of the production of space and Lacan’s three psychoanalytic orders that constructions of rurality need to be understood and rethought in complex ways that engage with both contemporary developments in social theory and with the massive and consequential movement of people, goods and services around the globe. I argue that my own practice as a teacher and educational researcher at a small rural/regional university attempts to problematize established and emerging power relations, suggesting the need for more engaged, relational and sensitive rural education scholarship and more spatially sophisticated teacher education practice.


Social Space Resource Extraction Rural Place Knowledge Practice Rural Education 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia

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