Trans-local involvement in rural areas: the playground of new mobile elites?

  • Karin Topsø Larsen
  • Rikke Brandt Broegaard
  • Lene Havtorn Larsen
Keywords: Place-making, trans-localism, rural development, rural gentrification, communities of engagement


This article is concerned with the effects of trans-local development processeson place-making in rural areas. Trans-localism is characterized by increasedmobility, multiple place identities and a (partial) dissolution of permanentand temporary resident dichotomies. It focuses on a group of part-time residentswho become involved as project managers and shareholders in culturalheritage and sustainability projects as well as in local business investmentsin rural communities. It explores how these resourceful new actors influencethe sociology of rural localities including the qualities of the particular placethat attract and motivate them as well as the effects of their engagement in thesocial dynamics of these localities. Theoretically, the work understands placemakingprocesses as multi-scalar, multidimensional and deeply conditionedby the differentiated capacities of different social actors in terms of mobilityand place engagement. Empirically, the article is based on qualitative researchconducted on four Nordic islands in 2018. The results indicate that part-timeresidents forge trans-local engagement communities with local elites and aremotivated by perceived place qualities linked to the notion of `the rural´, aswell as by collaboration with other part-time residents. An under-studied riskis that these trans-local place-making processes may lead to economic gentrificationprocesses and promote social displacement.


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