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Encounters in the valley: love and emotions in microprocesses of gentrification in depopulated rural areas

Paniagua, Angel
GeoJournal 2019 v.84 no.2 pp. 471-481
emotions, geography, rural areas, social change, women
Geography based on feelings and affection is an emergent research area in the rural sphere. Rural areas have undergone processes of social change associated with the movement of people to them. This paper examines the processes of repopulation and social change in depopulated areas using a qualitative methodology based on biographical narrations. The aim is to frame the value of feelings and emotion towards another person in a rural setting of encounter. Therefore, the paper will primarily assess the emotions between two people in building a life in a particular rural place. This contrasts with the more customary approach based on the emotional relationship between individuals and the rural environment as a factor explaining moves to rural areas. The paper will analyse six biographical cases involving women who have moved to/in remote and depopulated areas for love. It concludes that inter-personal feelings are an area that has been under-explored in rural geography yet they may explain mobility processes on a micro scale.