Sunday, 20 May 2018

Neo-rural populations and their relations with local decision makers in rural Québec: collaboration or conflict?

GeoJournal June 2018, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 613–629 | Cite as Authors Authors and affiliations Myriam SimardEmail authorLaurie GuimondJulie Vézina 1. 2. Article First Online: 24 June 2017 102 Downloads Abstract The socio-demographic recomposition of the countryside is affecting local interactions and power relations. Understanding these relationships remains a challenge, as the studies to date are often limited to conflicts between neo-rural populations (newcomers) and long-time country residents over partial issues, without including decision makers. To go beyond this conflictual and fragmentary perspective, the objective of this article is to present an overall picture of both cooperative and oppositional relations between four groups, namely, newcomers, long-time rural residents, leaders of local organizations and municipal officials, in regard to all the issues that concern them. The data are based on interviews with these various actors in two contrasting rural areas of Québec (Canada). After looking at the newcomers’ mixed assessment of their participation in community life, we concentrate on areas of collaboration and/or conflict between all the actors regarding demographic, economic, sociocultural, political, environmental and agricultural issues. Three main trends emerge, revealing unexpected ways of interacting, complex power relations and antagonistic conceptions of rural spaces and their future development. Keywords Neo-rural populations (newcomers) Long-time rural residents Local decision makers Collaboration Conflict Issues Power This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Notes Acknowledgements We would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC), the partnership Familles en mouvance et dynamiques intergénérationnelles, the Villes Régions Monde (VRM) network and the Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES) for their financial assistance. We extend a special thank you to Denise Lemieux for her contribution. Compliance with ethical standards Conflicts of interest The authors of this article confirm that there are no potential conflicts of interest. Ethical approval The research from which this article originates has been approved by the research ethics’ board of the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. Human and Animal Rights This research was conducted accordingly to the regular ethical standards. All participants signed a consent form. Appendix See Table 3. Table 3 Selected characteristics of the population of Brome-Missisquoi and Arthabaska RCMs. Brome-Missisquoi RCM Arthabaska RCM Total population, 2016 58,314 72,014 Population change between 2011 and 2016 census (%) 4.8 4.0 Land area in square kilometers, 2016 1652.08 1890.18 Population density per square kilometer, 2016 35.3 38.1 Average age of the population (y.o), 2016 44.9 43.3 Distribution of the population by age groups (%), 2016 0–14 years 15.5 16.5 15–64 years 61.7 62.4 65 years and over 22.8 21.1 Highest level of schooling (%), 2011 No certificate, diploma or degree 17 20 Secondary education 24 20 Trade certificate 19 24 College 23 23 University 18 13 Employment rate (%), 2011 60.2 61.7 Unemployment rate (%), 2011 5.7 5.6 Active workers’ categories (%), 2011 Employee 82 86 Self-employed 18 12 Occupations (%), 2011 Sales and service occupations 21 22 Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations 15 17 Business, finance and administration occupations 13 13 Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities 10 11 Management occupations 13 11 Occupations unique to primary industry 4 4 Social science, education, government service and religion 11 10 Health occupations 7 6 Natural and applied sciences and related occupations 4 5 Art, culture, recreation and sport 3 2 Median total income of persons between 25 and 64 years of age ($CAN), 2015* 34,965 35,294 Median family income ($CAN), 2010 65 087 61,218 Foreign-born population (%), 2011 5 2 Average value of dwelling $CAN, 2016* 266,273 162,816 Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 and 2016 census * Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2015 and 2016 References Abrams, J., Gosnell, H., Gill, N., & Klepeis, P. 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CrossRefGoogle Scholar Copyright information © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017 About this article CrossMark Cite this article as: Simard, M., Guimond, L. & Vézina, J. GeoJournal (2018) 83: 613. DOI Publisher Name Springer Netherlands Print ISSN 0343-2521 Online ISSN 1572-9893