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Foreign Immigration to Rural Spain: An Exploration of the Precarious Rural Cosmopolitanism in the Post-Crisis Scenario

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Crisis and Post-Crisis in Rural Territories

Abstract

Rural areas in southern Europe have undergone a huge depopulation and a demographic imbalance. In these areas, the arrival of foreign families and workers represents important support for economic activities, demographic maintenance, and the increase of cultural diversity. The 2008 economic recession profoundly affected the rural areas and brought about the departure of a significant proportion of the immigrant population. The analysis was carried out during the post-recession period and dealt with the situation of those who had stayed. We interviewed mayors, social service workers, members of civil organizations, and other key informants. Findings show the precariousness of the integration of immigrants into the job and housing markets; however, it especially demonstrates the absence of immigrants from the collective imaginary about rural development. Their role as entrepreneurs and consumers is not taken into account, and their cultures and lifestyles are conceived as more of an obstacle than culturally and economically enriching elements. We conclude by indicating the importance that designing and enacting policies of acceptance and the construction of welcoming communities now have as catalysts in the economic development social cohesion and innovation of rural areas.

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Acknowledgements

This study forms part of the Project “Recession and immigration in the rural environment of Castile and León” (CSO2015-67525-R, MINECO/FEDER). This is a research project financed for the period 2015–2018 in the State RDI Programme orientated at the Challenges of Society. The project is incorporated into the IsoRural Network of Excellence (CSO2016-61728-REDT).

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Correspondence to Rosario Sampedro .

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Sampedro, R., Camarero, L. (2020). Foreign Immigration to Rural Spain: An Exploration of the Precarious Rural Cosmopolitanism in the Post-Crisis Scenario. In: Döner, F., Figueiredo, E., Rivera, M. (eds) Crisis and Post-Crisis in Rural Territories. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50581-3_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50581-3_2

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