Gender, Mobilities and Transformation in Loppa, a Rural Municipality of Norway’s High North

Citation:

Walsh, Deatra, and Siri Gerrard. 2018. “Gender, Mobilities and Transformation in Loppa, a Rural Municipality of Norway’s High North.” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (8): 1154–74.

Authors: Deatra Walsh, Siri Gerrard

Abstract:

This article demonstrates the persistence of rural and peripheral coastal places in spite of widespread economic change through the lens of gendered mobilities. We focus on Loppa, a mountainous, ferry-dependent and sparsely populated municipality in the County of Finnmark in Norway’s High North. The fishery in Loppa, while the main source of employment for men, has been in decline. Conversely, employment in health, social services and other professional services has remained steady and, in some cases, increased. Women comprise the highest proportion of workers in these sectors. Using quantitative and qualitative data, we show that in and out-migration, as well as in and out-commuting all feature prominently in Loppa’s mobility picture over time. Higher proportions of men out-migrate and out-commute, suggesting that as changes in the fishery have occurred, men are the first to adjust through geographical mobilities. Although women are working in arguably more stable public sector employment, they too must engage in mobilities. We argue that in the absence of the prominent pattern of exodus of men and women over time, the varied mobilities in to and out of Loppa signal its transformation rather than decline with a future not yet known. We demonstrate that transformation is supported by mobilities as well as the the moorings associated with place.

Keywords: gender, mobilities, multi-methods, Norway's High North, restructuring

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Infrastructure, Transportation, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Norway

Year: 2018

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