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Market, commodity, resource, and strength: Logics of Norwegian rurality

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Rurality as a distinct category and rural identity grew out of a widespread mobilization of rural issues in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the idea that Norway can be split into two categories in a meaningful way, i.e. rural and not rural, is no longer hegemonic. Today, researchers and politicians conceptualize rural issues such that the rural as a category seems to dissolve. Through programme notes published by the Research Council of Norway since the early 1990s, we have tracked some of these new ways of conceptualizing the rural. Most evident in the underlying structure of reasoning is the logic of market, which is said to spring up in every Western economy in the neoliberal era. From this, rurality is understood in the context of globalization – again being linked to cultural complexity and innovation. Further, in this global context, rurality is being subordinated to the category region. The logic of market has also rendered possible a turn in the rural category from having a value of its own to being a commodity. All these changes have ultimately made it possible to use the structural metaphor of resource on rurality.
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Keywords: Norwegian rurality; metaphors; politics; space

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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