Negotiating Authenticity: An ethnographic study on lifestyle migration to rural Sweden
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
This study focuses on the migration experiences of Western-European lifestyle migrants who have migrated to Grönbo (pseudonym) in rural Sweden in pursuit of an ‘authentic’ rural lifestyle. The aim of this study is to provide with an insight in this seemingly growing sociological phenomenon through an understanding of the role of authenticity in the decision-making processes and post-migration lives of lifestyle migrants. Through applying Halfacree’s (2006), Frisvoll’s (2013) and Edensor’s (2006) theoretical frameworks, who focused on conceptualising rural space, assessing rural authenticity and the performance of rurality respectively and through the application of ethnographic methods in the form of participant observations and semi- structured household interviews, it became clear that authenticity plays a central part in the migration experiences of these people. In their experiences, authenticity is both a goal as well as a process. It starts of as a way to incentivise migration, by tying an authentic rural lifestyle to a lifestyle promised by the rural idyll. However, the interpretation of authenticity becomes more nuanced after migration and it also starts to imply a process of claiming identity and belonging in the lifestyle migrants’ post-migration lives.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125583OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-125583DiVA: diva2:894156