Heterolocal Identities? Counter-Urbanisation, Second Homes, and Rural Consumption in the Era of Mobilities


Keith Halfacree, Department of Geography, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, UK.

E-mail: k.h.halfacree@swansea.ac.uk


This paper forms part of a critical engagement with the aspects of the core population geography concept of ‘counterurbanisation’. It argues that contextualising counterurbanisation within the ‘era of mobilities’ has profound consequences for the concept. After introducing the era of mobilities and its implications for social science, migration's central and multiple places within this discourse are outlined. The paper then examines one set of ideas, ‘dynamic heterolocalism’, that facilitates the understanding of the existential significance today of the circulatory expressions of migration. Returning to counterurbanisation, the paper draws into its orbit the consumers of rural second homes, understanding of which has also increasingly adopted a quasi-heterolocal tone. An inclusive model of what is then recast terminologically as ‘counter-urbanisation’ posits it as an extremely heterodox concept, potentially embracing not only second-home owners but also diverse other consumers of rural space or rural sojourners. The paper concludes by reiterating the sustained centrality of ‘rurality’ to counterurbanisation, second-home consumption, and other expressions of identity within the era of mobilities. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.