Reading Rural Consumption Practices for Difference: Bolt-holes, Castles and Life-rafts
Keith Halfacree: Human Geography, Swansea University, Wales, Great Britain
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Theme: Rural Media Spaces
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Based mostly on evidence from the UK, this paper challenges the rural’s usual association with predominantly conservative politics and practices. It advocates showing awareness of ambiguity in how representations, and specifically in this paper rural representations, and their numerous associated consumption practices are interpreted. A focus is given on the possibility of interpreting these practiced rural representations in the context of responses to the negative features within everyday life identified by writers such as Lefebvre. Drawing specifically on the “postmodern Marxism” of Gibson-Graham (2006), and particularly beginning to deploy what they term “reading for difference rather than dominance”, the paper introduces three “styles” of consuming the rural. These are expressed via the metaphors of bolt-hole, castle and life-raft, and it is argued that they can be read as expressing critique of urban everyday life. In the concluding section, the lessons learned from reading rural consumption practices for difference in this way are brought together to suggest that not only can the rural today be regarded as an active “heterotopia” but that this alternative status could be used to underpin an urban-focused social movement for reclamation of what Lefebvre termed “every-day life”.

Keywords: Rural; reading for difference; representations; consumption practices; everyday life; social movement

Volume 2, Theme: Theme: Rural Media Spaces, Article 14, 2010

Keith Halfacree
Reading Rural Consumption Practices for Difference: Bolt-holes, Castles and Life-rafts
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  • Volume 2, Theme:: Theme: Rural Media Spaces, Article 14, 2010

    Keith Halfacree
    Reading Rural Consumption Practices for Difference: Bolt-holes, Castles and Life-rafts
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