A place for life or a place to live: Rethinking village attachment, volunteering and livability in Dutch rural areas

Johannes Gieling

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Rural residents become increasingly responsible for local affairs through voluntary and community activity. This transition to a ‘participation society’ is remarkable, because recent societal developments have indicated less rather than more engagement within local communities. Due to increased levels of mobility, rural residents have an increased freedom of choice to select those living environments that fit with their lifestyles. As a result of this process many villages became ‘residential’, in which villagers live but do not necessarily spend their professional and social lives. Residents may be selective in not finding every aspect of rural living equally desirable and may also choose non-identification and nonparticipation. Thus, in order to discuss the opportunities and limitations provided by the ‘participation society’, the relationship between the changing forms of place attachment and villagers’ involvement in village life is the key focus of this thesis. The use of a nationwide and representative database allows for valid and reliable statements that apply to the wider rural population. The dominant picture that emerges from this thesis is one of a countryside that is open to a greater role to its residents. However, good social relations among residents are pivotal to guarantee a living environment in which all rural residents, regardless of age and geography, express high levels of satisfaction. Also, this thesis argues that governments should ensure that the needs of vulnerable people are also being met.
    Translated title of the contributionEen plek om te leven of een plek om te wonen: Rethinking village attachment, volunteering and livability in Dutch rural areas
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Haartsen, Tialda, Supervisor
    • Strijker, Derk, Supervisor
    • Vermeij, L., Co-supervisor, External person
    Award date12-Mar-2018
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-0424-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0423-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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