Commodification and Creative Destruction in the Australian Rural Landscape: The Case of Bridgetown, Western Australia

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Abstract:

This paper examines the destructive tendencies associated with the commodification of rurality in some of Australia’s more scenic and accessible rural areas. While development based on the consumption of idealised rural landscapes and cultures can contribute to the accumulation of capital in rural areas, it can also result in the destruction of those aspects which consumers find attractive. These attributes include traditional farming landscapes, picturesque country towns, scenic rural environments, and perceptions of congenial and cohesive local communities. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the processes that lead to the degradation of these attributes. The discussion is set within the context of the ‘commodification of rurality’ and ‘creative destruction’ perspectives, and uses the case of Bridgetown in the south-west of Western Australia to illustrate how an almost unfettered pattern of development is leading to the gradual destruction of the countryside ideal.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8470.00161

Affiliations: 1: University of Western Australia, 2: Curtin University of Technology, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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