1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
    Special Issue: Sparsely populated rural areas
Journal Details
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Stable Mobilities and Mobile Stabilities in Rural Estonian Communities

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 13 (2021) - Issue 2 (June 2021) - Special Issue: Sparsely populated rural areas
Page range: 222 - 241
Journal Details
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

By analyzing the relations of communities and places in sparsely located rural areas, this article argues that rural community is not a stable unity tied to a place, but a phenomenon closely tied to its members’ connections to the interdependent concept of urban/rural, especially in terms of their mobility practices. In this study, the new mobilities paradigm was applied to reveal how everyday relational and routine aspects connected to material, structural, socio-cultural and economic conditioning dynamically intertwine to form a rural community. The analysis is based on three regional case studies in Estonian sparsely populated areas, which are diverse in terms of geographical location, demographic composition, type of settlement, history, and welfare conditions. By using qualitative in-depth interviews with people (N=60) who were involved with the locations, the article analyses everyday mobilities in these communities, especially in terms of interrelatedness to structural, social and material factors. The study has brought out interrelated themes that are connected to the use of rural representations in terms of individual and social self-reflection, the importance of social and material infrastructures, and the dynamics of these borders in communities and shaping community relations.


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