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'Leaving Athens': narratives of counterurbanisation in times of crisis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Menelaos Gkartzios

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore counterurbanisation in times of crisis. While much of the Anglophone literature highlights the consumption of the rural through counterurbanisation as part of a complex mosaic consisting of pro-rural lifestyle choices, class aspirations and ageing processes, the current economic recession that western countries are experiencing might reveal new ways of conceptualising counterurbanisation. The paper draws on in-depth interviews with counter-urban migrants in Greece. The interviews highlight a ‘crisis counterurbanisation’ triggered largely by unemployment at origin, rather than pro-rural motivations and idyllic constructions of rurality. More importantly, the migrants' stories highlight the importance of the extended family in counter-urban movements, in terms of the location of destination and the multiple support offered. This supportive family structure is pronounced in Greece, especially in times of crisis, but can be expected to be comparable to other southern European contexts where the role of family replaces responsibilities of the welfare state.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Gkartzios M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Rural Studies

Year: 2013

Volume: 32

Pages: 158-167

Print publication date: 01/01/2013

ISSN (print): 0743-0167

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1392

Publisher: Pergamon

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.06.003

DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.06.003


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