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A Labour of Leisure: An Ethnographic Account of a Village in Rural France

Neal, Timothy (2015) A Labour of Leisure: An Ethnographic Account of a Village in Rural France. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis contributes to the literature on lifestyle migration and the repopulation of rural areas by looking at British migration to rural France from the perspective of the social world that forms and of which they are part rather than the experiences of the migrants alone. My interest is the way in which a group of British lifestyle migrants have been incorporated into the village. In chapter one, I introduce the theoretical and conceptual framework informing my ethnographic methodology and in the following two chapters I develop the background to French rural history and the British citizen susceptible to such migration. In chapter four I discuss methodology and introduce the village of Alaigne where my fieldwork took place. From chapter five onwards I give prominence to examples from my fieldwork in a small village called Alaigne where I lived for one year. I have selected such material to illustrate my understanding of the processes through which the migrants find themselves part of a village community. Noting that integration does not mean being comfortable, in chapter five I suggest that integration in the village, albeit 'weak' or local, is real. Chapter six shows where this finds expression through shared desires for the village, my example being a concern with patrimoine, heritage. In chapter seven I develop this idea further to suggest that there is a category of practice I term public life, the practice through which village reproduces itself and something in which the British and other villagers partake, each finding in the other shared support for their own habitus. Chapter eight summarises the thesis and offers some suggestions for further research and conclusions. In this I suggest that in lifestyle migration studies we can re-conceptualise leisure as a form of labour. Alaigne's social life as a working, that is functioning, village requires labour to maintain it and the leisure cycle which public life manifests and reproduces is a co-production by a variety of villagers including those not present.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: lifestyle migration; rural sociology; france; british migration; anthropology; integration
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Urban Studies and Planning (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.666643
Depositing User: Dr Timothy Neal
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2015 11:02
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112

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