Neo-rural youth, education and life world

Research – Department of Teacher Education

Neo-rural youth, education and life world

View over lake in Selbu. Foto

Young people’s growing conditions constantly change in society. Socialization and participation are connected to a transition of macro-level processes into the local community that create the structural and cultural environments that young people negotiate.

Like their counterparts in urban areas, rural youth and their conditions are changing also. There are structural distinctions and organizing and distribution factors that affect young people’s opportunities and lives depending on which part of the country they live. Growing up in rural settings means access to different social institutions than for those in urban areas, such as education, leisure activities, sporting arenas, and future labor markets. Youth gender differences are another factor, with young men more likely to live in the rural village they were raised in, whereas upbringing conditions and educational preferences after 10 years of schooling are more limited for young women.

Rurality is often constructed as an imagined residual space considered to exist outside the conceptual boundaries of modernity. The rural is also understood as outside the geographical boundaries of the city, with the city being a distinctly modern or postmodern space. Notwithstanding the knowledge that changes in society are constant, capitalism transforms space in ways that are complex, specific, and dynamic, and this understanding guides our research. From our viewpoint, rural youth research is an important educational and lifeworld topic in need of more nuanced approaches to be richly understood. With our research, we are keen on making a difference when strengthening the footprints of the lifeworld and places being researched.

Our research group focuses on youth, education, and the life world in rural areas. We pay attention to the organization and organizing of social institutions and welfare, as well as the function and experience these institutions have for young people. We emphasize the organizing of education and leisure activities, and we critically question the inclusion and equal distribution of important resources for young people regarding urban and rural areas.

Important for the project group is to give a voice to young people growing up in rural and distanced areas.


Members of research group

Members of research group

Svein Ove Dyrdal, Selbu Videregående Skole

Jan Erik Ingebrigtsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Political Science, NTNU

Agneta Knutas, Professor Emerita, Department of Teacher Education, NTNU

Eli Smeplass, Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, NTNU

Mariann Villa, Professsor, Department of Sociology and Political Science, NTNU