Boundary Crossings: Migration, Belonging/‘Un-belonging’ in Rural Scotland

Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 103)


International migration and the presence of minority ethnic groups have been perceived as urban phenomena, resulting in binary conceptualisations of urban spaces as ‘cosmopolitan’ and rural spaces and people as culturally ‘homogeneous’. Following the expansion of the European Union in 2004, international migration to rural Scotland has received growing attention and is perceived as a way of addressing population decline. This has led to an increased interest in issues of ‘integration’ and ‘retention’ as a way of ‘fixing’ migrants to the places they have migrated to. Accordingly, migration and mobility in rural areas are disrupting notions of rural places as ‘fixed’ and isolated’. Drawing on a number of qualitative research projects undertaken in the north of Scotland, the chapter focuses on international migrants and the ways in which they negotiate their identities and sense of belonging. It argues that places, spaces and people are mutually constitutive of each other in a changing context. Concepts such as ‘translocalism’ potentially provide a useful mechanism to explore the plurality of rural spaces and voices within a dynamic and stretched context.


European Union International Migration Minority Ethnic Group Remote Rural Area Rural Place 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, University of the Highlands and IslandsScotlandUK

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