Birgitte Romme Larsen – The new rural: encountering refugees and asylum in the Danish countryside
Birgitte Romme Larsen is an Associate Professor in Anthropology at the Danish School of Education (DPU), Aarhus University. She holds a PhD from the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. Her main research interests concerns local migratory outcomes in rural Scandinavia, with a particular view to processes of exclusion/inclusion, belonging and neighborliness as these play out in the everyday encounter between asylum seekers, refugees and local communities in the Danish countryside. Since, in 2006, embarking on her PhD study amongst newly arrived UN quota refugees, mandatorily placed in small Danish villages, Birgitte’s research has brought forward both the perspectives of migrants and local populations, simultaneously illuminating, in a Danish rural setting, how migrants perceive of their new local environments and how local communities and populations perceive of newcomers and migratory influxes in various ways transforming and reproducing local space and local identities. In her latest ethnographic studies, in particular Birgitte has been exploring the significance and impact of asylum centers on local communities in Danish rural districts, the main focus being on how the placement and presence of asylum centres shape and reshape the social lives of locals, and – in some cases – condition their communities and self-identifications in a time of protracted rural crisis and unwanted political and economic changes.
Gudbjörg Linda Rafnsdóttir – ICT, flexibility and work in the rural areas
Gudbjörg Linda Rafnsdóttir is professor of sociology and vice rector of science at the University of Iceland. She is Ph.D. in sociology from Lund University, Sweden. She has experience in sociological and interdisciplinary researches mainly on working life, gender and organizational issues. Her main publications are on occupational health and well-being, discrimination, flexibility and virtual work. Her research interest also include social stratification, global work and new trends in working life. She has published a number of articles, book chapters and books in English and the Nordic Languages within this field.
Ilkka Luoto – Paradoxical rural
Ilkka Luoto works as a university lecturer in regional studies, in the school of management, at the University of Vaasa. During his career, Luoto has worked in several rural research and development projects since 1993, and gained his PhD degree in 2008, by exploring the power of narratives in six rural places in Finland and Scotland. He has also been a member of the Rural Policy Council’s strategy group in 2013 and 2019, where guidelines for a national rural policy programme were prepared. In recent years, Luoto has been interested in the national implementation of place-based development, especially in the contexts of rural-urban interplay and digitalization.