Rural-Urban Blurring and the Subjectivity Within

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Realizing that a changing society is in constant need of redefinition, the rural-urban distinction is especially important to look systematically into. One reason is that although the outdatedness of the rural-urban dichotomy is widely acknowledged, it is still largely sustained, not least in ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ development endeavors, which are often conducted separately. Such practice may seem questionable in the face of the progressive blurring of these concepts, which makes them increasingly subjective. Acknowledging the continued need for categorization on the one hand and admitting to its flawed nature on the other, we submit there is a pressing need to capture the changing logic of rural-urban subjectivity in order to better handle it in practice. By combining humanistic and materiality-based perspectives, we discuss the concepts of ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ with emphasis on perception and experiential space as one possible way forward. In that vein, we also tentatively explore the potential of the concept of ‘landscape’ to serve as a bridge between physical and subject-centered tenets of rural-urban awareness. We argue it could become a useful conceptual tool for creating context from the divergent theoretical currents in regard to how rural-urban should be understood today.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Geography


  • Rural-Urban, Subjectivity, Experiential space, Humanism, Materiality, Landscape
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1–13
JournalRural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 15
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes