Rural out-migration and return: perspectives on the everyday reality and the idyll in Ireland
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Cawley, Mary. (2020). Rural out-migration and return: perspectives on the everyday reality and the idyll in Ireland. Documents d Anàlisi Geogràfica, 66(2), 1-17. doi:10.5565/rev/dag.588
The aim of this article is to add to understandings of the rural idyll as an influence on return migration. Interviews were conducted with thirty-four first generation rural returnees in Ireland and their responses were analysed in depth. Unemployment and constraints on career and personal fulfilment influenced migration overseas, usually, to a major city. Consciousness of the loss of features of the idyll emerged in adapting to life in the destination area. Memories of the positive features of family and rural life influenced return, particularly for those with children, but the capacity to return was dependent for most on economic circumstances. Certain features of the idyll were recaptured on return but everyday rural reality intruded also. Some people migrated again. An improved understanding of the idyll and of the everyday reality should help to better inform policy to re-attract out-migrants back to the countryside.