East of the sea, north of the border: social mobility at the end of the nation

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


    Doing fieldwork close to where the country ends, in Tønder, we are exploring local social dynamics in relation to broader society. From one perspective, the area is challenged by economic deprivation, changes in demographics and a low level of education compared to the main cities. From another perspective, the local community is full of activities (sport associations, festivals, music arrangements, theatre work), and of innovators and entrepreneurs who find their way drawing on social networks rather than mainstream trajectories. We suggest that this complexity relate to changes in local hierarchies and forms of social control. Within the last 50 years, the position of the local elite has ended as a separate and influential social stratum. In order to maintain their privileged position, affluent families have tended to send their sons and daughters away to be educated persons in the big cities. Though this investment was successful for social status, it did not preserve the families’ local positions as their offspring rarely returned. Consequently, the local society, compared with the national average, has relatively fewer people with higher education. This has led to a less intense competition from people with high education leaving room for locals without or with less formal qualifications or certifications to make inconventional shifts in their careers, form their own occupational niches and take up positions that elsewhere are reserved people with specific training or degrees. So, despite a tendency to economic and social decline, a local mobility and entrepreneurship can be observed resulting in a range of different lifeforms.
    StatusUdgivet - 2017
    BegivenhedMEGA-seminar: The End -
    Varighed: 16 aug. 201718 aug. 2017


    KonferenceMEGA-seminar: The End


    • Socialt arbejde og sociale forhold
    • Uddannelse, professioner og erhverv
    • Erhvervsliv, handel og økonomi


    Gulløv, J. M., & Gulløv, E. (2017). East of the sea, north of the border: social mobility at the end of the nation. Abstract fra MEGA-seminar: The End, .