To call a place rural is to categorize it as a particular kind of place and, often, to presume that particular kinds of being innately occur there. Over the past 20 years, however, trends in British rural studies have problematized easy ascription; this article is an ethnographic contribution within those trends. If it is no longer adequate to read the rural as a container for being, then, as I contend here, rurality can be explored anew through doing. I draw upon David Matless’s (1994) frame of ‘doing the village’ representationally, and amplify it to include concepts of place as representational and relational. I thus use ‘doing’ to read the multiple ways in which diverse residents in a Northern England village engage with both their real locality and with nationally shared rural imaginings.
- rural studies
- Northern England