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Remasculinization and Mobilities in a Reindustrializing Community in Northern Norway

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In this article I explore how certain aspects of mobility, especially commuting, became predominant in the construction of a dominant ‘place-story’ in a municipality in Northern Norway (Nord-Norge), and claim that this stepped up a remasculinization process in the community. This former male-dominated mining community had undergone an extensive economic and social restructuration process since the 1990s, which had resulted in a much more varied job market, but equally importantly a strengthened situation for women, occasionally phrased as a feminization of the municipality. From 2009, a reindustrialization process mainly based on natural resources was underway, but according to private business interests, its further growth and development was dependent on attracting skilled labour, which was a new situation in a region that had struggled to keep its inhabitant numbers. A place-story was emerging in which increased work-related commuting evidently disturbed the local conception of this community as a stable place. By looking closer at the background to how this story came about, and the circumstances in which it was constructed, I focus on both a controversial commuting issue and other work-related mobilities that did not seem to cause the same attention. My conclusion is that the commuter issue reinforced a remasculinization process in the community.
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Keywords: Reindustrialization; mining town; place-stories; remasculinization; work-related mobilities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway

Publication date: August 3, 2018

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