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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ruth McAreaveyORCiD
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This chapter investigates the lives of migrants who work in the agri-food sector. It examines their potential to transform small towns in economic regions that are economically lagging. Previous research and policy initiatives have identified migration as having a transformative effect on small towns, addressing significant demographic challenges and economic decline. Using empirical data from Northern Ireland, which is located in the United Kingdom, the chapter will explore migrants’ sense of belonging and attachment to small rural towns. The chapter begins by looking at transnational links before moving on to consider territorial development, how non-metropolitan space is dealt with in a policy context, how space is socially constructed and the specifically exploitative nature of agri-food. It then uses empirical data from focus groups and interviews conducted in Northern Ireland before concluding by showing that place matters differently for different groups. Place matters differently for different people and there is not necessarily a sense of attachment or belonging arising from living and working in a new society. Further, the potential of migrants to enrich societies through economic and social contributions is jeopardised by structural constraints within the labour market and by settlement patterns that lead to residential segregation.
Author(s): McAreavey R
Editor(s): Banksi, J
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Routledge International Handbook of Small Towns
Print publication date: 17/08/2021
Online publication date: 17/08/2021
Acceptance date: 09/11/2020
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item