Stories of Movement and Memories of Place: Rural Youth Identity Formation
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Under indefinite embargo due to publisher policy.
Memories are central to our sense of identity and the ways in which individuals construct the meaning(s) of place. This chapter will argue that for young people the experience of living in the countryside has a history and a ‘meaning’ and that their histories are embedded in a sense of movement and an emotional response to place. Internalised meaning provides an anchor point from which young people tell different stories to themselves and others of their temporal encounters in the world. Memory enables individuals to locate different spaces, pasts and futures in particular locales. However the identities that young people make are neither fixed, timeless or geo-specific, rather they are the spontaneous assemblages of meaning, drawn from a diversity of memories, emotions, movements, ideas that represent an ‘outpouring’ of being in/out of place. The processes by which meaning is understood and articulated in these encounters with place(s) and other people are central to individual understandings of themselves and places. This chapter brings together current work on identity theory, particularly that of Henri Bergson, and mobility to examine critically the stories rural youth tell to help them explain their place in the world. This chapter explores three themes. Firstly, it outlines the role and function of memory in creating a sense of identity. Second, it discusses how individuals create memory images that are woven through with understandings of place. Finally, it offers a way of reconciling the inherent fluidity of the selfhood project through exploring how young people move through spaces.
Leyshon M (2016). Rural Youth Identity Formation: Stories of Movement and Memories of Place. In Evans B ,Horton J ,Skelton T (Eds.) Play, Recreation, Health and Wellbeing, Singapore: Springer.
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