Changing Rural Paradigms: Rural Ethnology between State Interest and Local Activism

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  • Jeppe Engset Høst
In this article I will review the historical, cultural and social formation of rural development policies in Denmark and situate these in a Scandinavian context. The review is based on a reading of commission reports, law documents and texts produced by the planners and scholars involved in regional development, the latter often reflecting upon and justifying their work. This gives us a retrospect on how ethnologists have interacted with rural policies and rural areas in transition. In the latter part of this article, I will have a particular focus on examining the so-called “new rural paradigm” (OECD 2006) and its implications for ethnological scholars and practitioners of today. In the “new rural paradigm”, bottom-up processes, “place-bound” cultural and historical values are highlighted as essential to local development. This of course empowers the ethnologists, but also put us in a position at the very centre of a commodification of “the rural” and rural communities. The article therefore concludes with a discussion of currents trends in regional and rural development and the
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnologia Scandinavica
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 163957303