The FRIHUMSAM funded project addresses the important but poorly explored question of how contemporary global flows of low-skilled and manual labour transform the social fabric of non-urban regions in Western society. It will theorize how immigration into rural sociocultural contexts differs from immigration into urban regions and generate an improved theoretical understanding of the spatial complexities of contemporary international migration and its implications for local rural communities.
The objective is to answer the following research questions:
- What is the spatial structure of the rural immigration phenomenon, and what macro-level factors may explain immigrants’ distribution across rural regions?
- In what ways does the rural societal context shape the immigration phenomenon?
- How are rural labour immigration processes embedded in and shaped by properties of the rural economy?
- How does large-scale labour immigration instigate social change in rural communities?
- What are key implications of the labour migration phenomenon, for the labour immigrants and for local/hosting rural populations?
The project’s theorizing strategy is to cross-fertilize knowledge from three research fields, each offering important insights into the global labour phenomenon, which has been previously scarce and poorly integrated: 1) immigration theory, 2) labour market theories, and 3) the rural studies tradition. Building on insights from these literatures, three key conceptualizations will guide the gathering and analyses of the materials.