9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS07 Memory, Culture and Public Discourse

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Constructing Collective Memory in City, Suburb, and Country Building I, 1E7

"New" images for the "old" countryside - an urban reinvention

After the generalization of the discourse around the notion of functional, demographic and territorial crisis of the rural, it seems more and more clear that the countryside valuation tendencies are gaining strength.

The apparent contradiction is clarified when we realize that the underlining of the crisis often works as an argument for a renewed visibility of the subject.

The idyllic dimension of the rural is reinforced as an answer to the functional crisis. It is used as an opening of new business possibilities. The old signs of the, so discussed, development delay are now confused with the competitive advantages of the countryside. This occurs mainly because they have been converted in elements of an idyllic past and heritage, by public discourses and representations.

The rurality and its products open new markets of consumption to the urban areas, constituting a necessary alterity to the urban unsustainability and representing the memory, nature and all the values that are supposedly jeopardized in the globalized world.

This presentation pretends to discuss this attempt to reverse the rural crisis trough the valuation of its idyllic and heritage potential, which is spread and feed mainly in the urban areas.