Perceptions of Eastern European migrants in an English village: the role of the rural place image

Moore, H (2019) 'Perceptions of Eastern European migrants in an English village: the role of the rural place image.' Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. ISSN 1369-183X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2019.1623016

Abstract

Since 2004 significant numbers of post-accession EU migrants have arrived in regional towns and rural areas of England to live and work: places that are unaccustomed to large-scale in-migration. These recent migration patterns mean that new intercultural encounters are taking place in a number of provincial and ‘out of the way’ places [Nayak 2011 Nayak, A. 2011. “Geography, Race and Emotions: Social and Cultural Intersections.” Social and Cultural Geography 12 (6): 548–562. This article argues that if we are to fully understand the social interactions and practices of exclusion and inclusion between long-term settled populations and migrants in rural areas that are experiencing new migration flows, it is vital to examine such processes at the local scale. The article draws on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork, including 30 semi-structured qualitative interviews, to explore English village resident's perceptions of Eastern European migrants who live and work at nearby horticultural nurseries. Village residents’ narratives reveal a discourse of migrants ‘fitting in’ with the collectively held place image of the ‘working village’. However, my findings also reveal that, despite this apparent conviviality, a language of invisibility is used to describe the migrants’ presence. Thus, the place image of the working village serves to mask ambivalent attitudes towards migrants and an unequal power relationship that exists between the two groups.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: rural English village, Eastern European migrants, place image, perceptions, invisibility
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 16:02
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 15:02
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