Deprivation and the Rural-Urban Trap
Departing from the idea that cultural mechanisms are capable of allowing for conceptual dichotomies to create oppression, this paper challenges the engrained tradition of using ‘urban/rural’ as guiding labels in societal organisation when seen through the prism of deprivation. Two Polish deprivation-ridden estates – one ‘urban’ and one ‘rural’ – were investigated. Having taken account of the residents’ everyday lives in the socio-economic, material and discursive dimensions, our findings indicate that the notions of rurality and urbanity imbricate and leapfrog meaningful territories at the local level. Realising the danger of deploying stereotypes as beacons in governance, from this richly contextualised account we draw that many problems today are space-independent and cannot be attenuated by following development paths reinvented in the name of empirically questionable yet culturally sustained and politically ontologised spatialities. This, then, calls for rethinking both the discursivity and the elusiveness of rural-urban thinking in the context of deprivation.
- Human Geography
- conceptual dichotomies
- spatial thinking
- ISSN: 0040-747X