Poverty, social exclusion and marginalisation in diversified rural contexts


Josef Bernard, Local and Regional Studies, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

Anja Decker, Institut für Volkskunde/Europäische Ethnologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany

Leo Granberg, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland

Katalin Kovács, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

Contact: josef.bernard@soc.cas.cz


Residential contexts in which people live are among the factors that influence and shape various forms of social disadvantage and enable to create diverse compensatory strategies both in rural and in urban areas. However, the urban-rural dichotomy represents an unduly superficial explanatory framework for describing the experiences of social disadvantage. While urban sociologists strongly emphasize the diversification of urban residential areas and the link between the context of local opportunities and individual disadvantage, in rural sociology a similar theoretical and analytical tradition is not particularly strong. For quantitative and qualitative explanations of rural disadvantage, the diversification of rural areas both between and also within European countries should be accounted for. Diversified, multi-level trajectories of rural change create varying spatial contexts of disadvantage. Many rural localities belong to places with limited capacities for resilience struggling to cope with the ongoing global changes. The affected rural locations are coping with combinations of economic problems, depopulation and social exclusion and many localities have been hit by the recent economic crisis and austerity cuts. The social disadvantages faced by their inhabitants exceed the economic sphere and relate to various aspects of everyday life, such as availability and quality of services, mobility, participation and generally the quality of life. However, some localities witness successful individual and/or joint agency to challenge the problems affecting their residents. Investigation into differentiated social disadvantage in rural areas and reactions to overcome it can therefore significantly enrich our knowledge about social inequalities in Europe. We invite in particular empirically based contributions in form of locally based case studies, national-level investigations or international comparative studies


The convenors intend to organise an intensive meeting with a deeper feedback for the presenters. Applicants are invited to develop full papers that will be commented by discussants. However, organisers welcome presentations without submitted papers as well and finalise WG schedule and choreography according to the number of applicants.