• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Using examples discuss Cloke's (2003) statement that the idea of idyllic rurality has 'rendered invisible the seamier side of rural life'.

Extracts from this document...


Restructuring the British Countryside Essay One Using examples discuss Cloke's (2003) statement that the idea of idyllic rurality has 'rendered invisible the seamier side of rural life'. Introduction Woodward (1996) regards the notion of the rural idyll as 'hazy and unclear' but goes on to settle with the definition 'a set of ideas about rural areas as aesthetically pleasant and desirable places to live in'. Two centuries ago the majority of the population lived in rural areas and were mainly people who worked hard for little whether it was self sufficiency or for local land owners. These poor farm labourers gradually moved to the urban areas with the sophistication of machinery and state legislative moves guiding them through loss of rural work (Short, 1992). And so here begins perhaps the idealisation of the rural from a place where the majority of us lived and knew and understood to the now idealised pleasant and desirable home of the minority. As the urban landscape is easily vilified by both rural and urban dwellers alike so is the rural revered. But are things as pleasant and arcane as we imagine? Perhaps it is the image itself that is the idyll and not the rural reality. So how is it that an impression of an area that covers a large part of the country and is evenly spread allowing access to ...read more.


who represented the farm worker, a character who was uneducated and na�ve with big rosy cheeks. Another is the television programme 'The Vicar of Dibley' which contains the characters of the powerful land owner, the poor uneducated farmer worker and other 'simple', healthy country folk. Woodward (1996) notes that poverty in the country becomes normalised so that it is no longer an issue but a necessary component of rural life. Perhaps the most famous example of rural representation is the radio programme the Archers. Originally a fictionalised farming informational programme the representation that it gave was discussed by the producers and it was deemed that it should be 'to present an accurate picture of country life...and the many problems of living that confront country folk in general' but also an intention that it should present a 'positive image' of country life for a predominantly urban audience (Laing,). Laing also notes that 'The programme development policy was to aim for a content of 15% instruction, 10-15% natural history and folklore and a remainder of entertainment based on the family unit of the small farmer construed as being the hardcore of the rural population.' With such representations going out to 20 million listeners in 1955 (Laing) and the English desire to construct an identity that seems to have become an amalgam of the farm labourer and the land owner we ...read more.


due to lack of public transport especially at 'farm work hours'. Loss of young people to the towns leads to loss of viability of shops and services (such as the buses) and schools. The same article records Liz Flood of the Countryside Agency as saying 'A lack of affordable housing seems to affect all aspects of rural life, such as maintaining a local force workforce or keeping schools open'. Conclusion The relationship between identity and policy is two way - policy may be built on identity but at the same time identity is changed or constructed through policy (Groote et al, 2000). Thus it is of extreme importance that the processes of representation and the power relations within that are understood by the policy makers if they are to fully fathom the issues in an area and tackle them competently. Does it matter that the popular discourse may be so wrong? Perhaps this also brings an economy to the countryside. Perhaps it is necessary for our own sense of national identity and our historical roots. Perhaps it gives us all some hope that there is an idyll out there somewhere or as Newby put it 'somewhere at the far end of the M4 or the A12 there are 'real' country folk living in the midst of 'real' English countryside in - that most elusive of all rustic utopias - 'real' communities'. (Laing). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Population & Settlement section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Population & Settlement essays

  1. 'Critically assess the extent to which the concept of the rural idyll is relevant ...

    Little and Austin (1996) suggest rural life is 'associated with an uncomplicated, innocent, more genuine society in which traditional values persist and lives are more real.' However, this statement is followed with the idea that rural idyll is 'created by the wealthy for the wealthy and reflects particular power relations within society'.


    ageing of parts of the city 1. decline of original industry, replaced by new industry 1. changes in people's needs and expectations 1. concern for the environment Urban growth results from * natural increase in population * gradual growth as industry moves out and new houses built * migration of people from the country Urban sprawl = pressure on the countryside.

  1. This briefing is in relation to the Inquiry into Skills Shortages in Rural and ...

    More people will lose their jobs and families will have to move to find work. Regional Industries - Many regional industries are desperate to expand, but are being hampered by a lack of skilled labour. Councils - A current situation can be seen Wagga Wagga NSW.

  2. Discover whether there is a hierarchy in Leicestershire.

    The type of transport that people taken was mostly using public services, i.e. the bus, followed by using a car; the reason that people use this type of transport is because generally people commute to work, therefore they cannot walk; or they go shopping for low order goods such as

  1. Dear Journal, (Absolute & Relative Location)

    of houses were two stories with a noticeable backyard, by noticeable I mean you actually need a lawnmower instead of a pair of scissors. This means that the city of Sydney is very low density, but surprisingly it has one of the lowest rural population figures in the world, something around 15%.

  2. Locality and Hapiness: A Study of Quality of Life

    On housing, he said that the housing was excellent and there were little or no council estates there. The downside though was that housing was quite expensive for young people. On jobs; not many jobs in Upminster, most people go to the city to get jobs because only pubs, schools and shops provide jobs.

  1. How should we nowadays understand the Anglo-Saxon 'Invasions' of lowland Britain?

    It is impossible to argue that the British language did not disappear; according to Gelling, less than twenty Celtic words survived in the English language. However, as Campbell, Higham, Sawyer and Ward-Perkins argue, this need not indicate that the British population was vanquished.

  2. "What is the relation between the image of the 'rural' and the idea of ...

    It keeps him out of mischty." (Page 17'Jude the obscure') This quote also is symbolic of the language differences within the rural and the urbane. The city linguistic system is more proper in the sense that they don't conjoin words or shorten words 'mischty' being an example of the latter.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work