Farrugia, David, Smyth, John and Harrison, T. (2014) Rural young people in late modernity: Place, globalisation and the spatial contours of identity. Current Sociology, 62 (7). pp. 1036-1054. ISSN 0011-3921

This article draws together arguments for an interdisciplinary ‘spatial turn’ within sociology to analyse the subjectivities and biographical imaginings of Australian rural youth. It draws on a theoretical dialogue between theories of social change, and developments in socio-spatial theory in order to analyse the spatial contours of young people’s narratives, making a case for the significance of an ‘extraverted’ and porous sense of place for understanding rural youth identity. After a theoretical argument about the contemporary meaning of place for theories of globalisation and individualisation, the article presents two theoretically driven sets of case studies.
The first discusses rural youth whose identities speak to the importance of place and ‘the local’ as resources for identity, while the second describes young people whose identities are ‘stretched’ across multiple spaces and locales. The analysis speaks to the importance of place for understanding the forms of reflexivity that rural youth mobilise in constructing their place in the world, and speaks to new ways in which to re-embed sociological analyses of youth within the spatially complex social landscapes of a globalised world.

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