Micro-pol: or the story of the large within the small

  • Mia Arp Fallov
  • Anja Jørgensen
  • Lene Tølbøll
  • Rikke Skovgaard Nielsen
Keywords: Local resilience, Lemvig, Local community, engangement, urbanization, rural development.


In this article, we employ case of Lemvig, a small Danish community that refuses to be considered part of the periphery. We discuss how this case challengessociological conceptions of the relation between center and periphery and between metropolis and the local. We argue that it is exactly the characterof what we conceptualize as the »micro-pol« – international orientation and a local culture that couple to global flows – which generates the resilience ofthe local place. The analysis of qualitative material from Lemvig helps us understand the conditions that support resilience in places, which are shapedby de-urbanization. The article draws on empirical material from an ongoing Horizon 2020 project, COHSMO – Inequality, urbanization and territorial cohesion: Developing the European social model of economic growth and democratic capacity. The project is a cross European comparison of the relationbetween urbanization, inequality and territorial cohesion. The narratives from Lemvig highlight how local culture cannot be understood alone as a productof necessity due to structural challenges. Rather the place specific culture is a product of the interplay between local business structures, the scale of place,historical path dependencies, and active local engagement.


Adger, W.N. 2000: »Social and ecological resilience: are they related?«. Progress in Human Geography, vol. 24, no. 3:347-364. https://doi.org/10.1191/030913200701540465

Amundsen, H. 2012: »Illusions of Resilience? An Analysis of Community Responses to Change in Northern Norway«, Ecology and Society, vol. 17, no. 4:46. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-05142-170446

Bærenholdt, J.O. & Aarsæther, N. 2002: »Coping Strategies, Social Capital and Space«. European Urban and Regional Studies, vol. 9, no. 2:151-165. https://doi.org/10.1177/096977640200900204

Bærenholdt, J.O. & Granås, B. 2008: »Places and Mobilities Beyond the Periphery«, in J.O. Bærenholdt & B. Granås (eds): Mobility and Place – Enacting Northern European Peripheries. Ashgate:Aldershot:1-12.

Bauman, Z. 2000: Liquid Modernity, Polity Press:Cambridge.

Beck, U. 2012: »Kosmopolitanisme som forestillede globale risikofællesskaber«. Dansk Sociologi, vol. 23, no. 1: 96. https://doi.org/10.22439/dansoc.v23i1.4040

---2009: »Critical Theory of World Risk Society: A Cosmopolitan Vision«. Constellations, vol. 16, no. 1:3-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8675.2009.00534.x

---2002: »The Cosmopolitan Society and Its Enemies«. Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 19, no. 1-2:17-44. https://doi.org/10.1177/026327640201900101

Bosworth, G., Annibal, I., Carroll, T., Price, L., Sellick, J. & Shepherd, J. 2016: »Empowering Local Action through Neo‐Endogenous Development; The Case of LEADER in England«. Sociologia Ruralis, vol. 56, no. 3: 427-449. https://doi.org/10.1111/soru.12089

Bourdieu, P. 1991: Language and Symbolic Power. Polity Press: Cambridge.

--- 1986: »The Forms of Capital«. in J.G. Richardson (Ed.). Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. Greenwood: Westport: 241-258.

Castells, M. 2002: The Castells Reader on Cities and Social Theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

Damgaard, E. 2018: Lemvig – en vestjysk verden, bind I – 1200-1800. Lemvig: Lemvig Museum.

Fallov, M.A. 2011, »The social capital-local community-neighbourhood configuration. Strategies for building bonding and bridging relations in neighbourhood regeneration«, Sociologisk Arbejdspapir, vol. 2011, no. 32.

Fallov, M.A., Jørgensen, A. & Knudsen, L.B. 2013, »Mobile Forms of Belonging«, Mobilities, 8, 4: 467-486. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2013.769722

Fallov, M.A. & Jørgensen, A. 2018: »’Welcome in my back yard’- the role of affective practices and learning in an experiment with local social integration in Hjortshøj, Denmark«. Community Development Journal, 53, 3:500-517. https://doi-org.zorac.aub.aau.dk/10.1093/cdj/bsy023

Farias, I. & Blok, A. 2016: Urban Cosmopolitics. Routledge: London.

Featherstone, M. 2002: »Cosmopolis: An Introduction«. Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 19, no. 1-2: 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/026327640201900112

Hall, P.A. & Lamont, M. 2013: »Introduction: Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era«. In P.A Hall and M. Lamont (eds). Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge:1-31. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139542425

Jakobsen, L.H. & Sørensen, S.Y. & Johansen, K.D. 2014: Virketrang i Danmark – på jagt efter danske vækstkulturer, Udarbejdet for REG LAB af Teknologisk Institut, www.reglab.dk.

Johansen, P.H. & Chandler, T.L. 2015: »Mechanisms of power in participatory rural planning «. Journal of Rural Studies, vol. 40, no. August: 12-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2015.05.006

Jørgensen, A., Fallov, M., Knudsen, L.B. & Skov, H. 2016, »Zones of Belonging«, Geoforum, vol. 29, pp. 1-29. https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.perspektiv.v15i29.1450

Jørgensen, A. & Fallov, M.A. 2017: Velkommen i min bydel. Aalborg Universitetsforlag: Aalborg.

Jørgensen, A. Fallov, M. & Nielsen, Rikke Skovgaard (forthcoming) »Ask Erik«. Sociologia Ruralis.

Kumpulainen, K. & Soini, K. 2019: »How do community development activities affect the construction of rural places? A case study from Finland«. Sociologia Ruralis, vol.59(2) april. https://doi.org/10.1111/soru.12234

Laursen, L.H., Johansen, P.H., Frølund, M. & Christensen, E.M. 2015: Landsbyklynger som mulig udviklingsstrategi – muligheder og barrierer. Real Dania og DGI: København.

Massey, D. 2005: For Space,London: Sage. https://doi.org/10.12968/sece.2005.1.361

McFarlane, C. 2011: Learning the City: Knowledge and Translocal Assemblage. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444343434

Moulaert, F, F. Martinelli, E. Swyngedouw & S. González 2005: »Towards Alternative Model(s) of Local Innovation«, Urban Studies, vol. 42 (11):1969-1990. https://doi.org/10.1080/00420980500279893

Portes, A. 1998: »Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology«. Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 24: 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.24.1.1

Putnam, R. 2000: Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster. https://doi.org/10.1145/358916.361990

Ray, C. 2006: »Neo-Endogenous Rural Development in the EU«. In P. Cloke, T. Marsden & P. Mooney (Eds). The Handbook of Rural Studies. SAGE Publications Ltd: London: 278-291. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781848608016.n19

Region Midtjylland 2017: Midt i statistikken. Lemvig Kommune 2017, downloadet fra https://www.rm.dk/siteassets/regional-udvikling/midt-i-statistikken/midt-i-statistikken-2017/lemvig.pdf 14-08-2019.

Sampson, R.J. 2012: Great American city. Univ. of Chicago Press: Chicago. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226733883.001.0001

Svendsen, G.L.H. 2013: »Public Libraries as Breeding Grounds for Bonding, Bridging and Institutional Social Capital: The Case of Branch Libraries in Rural Denmark«. Sociologia Ruralis, vol. 53, no. 1: 52-73. https://doi.org/10.1111/soru.12002

Swyngedouw, E. 2004: »Globalisation or ‘glocalisation’? Networks, territories and rescaling «, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, vol. 17(1):25-48. https://doi.org/10.1080/0955757042000203632

Turner, B.S. 2016: »We are all denizens now: on the erosion of citizenship«. Citizenship Studies, vol. 20, no. 6-7: 679-692. https://doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2016.1191432

Winther, M.B. & Svendsen, G.L.H. 2012: »‘The Rotten Banana’ fires back: The story of a Danish discourse of inclusive rurality in the making«. Journal of Rural Studies, vol. 28, no. 4: 466-477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.05.003

Woods, M. 2012: »Rural geography III: Rural futures and the future of rural geography«. Progress in Human Geography, vol. 36, no. 1: 125-134. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132510393135

---2009: »Rural geography: blurring boundaries and making connections«. Progress in Human Geography, vol. 33, no. 6: 849-858. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132508105001

---2007: »Engaging the global countryside: globalization, hybridity and the reconstitution of rural place«. Progress in Human Geography, vol. 31, no. 4: 485-507. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132507079503

Woolcock, M. 1998: »Social Capital and Economic Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework«. Theory and Society, vol. 27, no. 2: 151-208. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006884930135