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  • 1.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ambivalent Dutch lifestyle migrants in rural Sweden2013In: Practising the good life / the good life in practices: Book of Abstracts / [ed] João Sardinha, Kate Torkington, Inês David, 2013, p. 5-5Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on Dutch families who moved to Hällefors (rural Sweden) in the early 21st century. It discusses contradictory and ambivalent discourses between life before and life after migration. As studied in this text, the direction of the move (north), the destination (a problematic municipality) and the structure for the decision process (provided by a municipality and an agency actively attracting incomers) are novel aspects to existing studies of lifestyle migration. The paper aims to examine the migration process of Dutch lifestyle migrants in Hällefors and their ambivalent attitudes towards returning. The main empirical question is ‘after migrating to Hällefors, what influences the Dutch families’ attitude towards returning?’ This question is addressed through an interview study, conducted in 2011. One of the findings is that long-term planning migrants show less ambivalence than spontaneous movers.

  • 2.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Dutch migrants and the "good life" in central Sweden2011In: 6th International conference on population geographies, collection of abstracts: 2011, Umeå University, Sweden, 2011, p. 54-54Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the latest decade, an increasing number of Dutch counter-urban migrants have moved to the Swedish countryside. This text focuses on a number of Dutch families and their search for the good life in a problematic Central Swedish municipality. In the course of the past four years, data have been gathered during observations and interviews with migrant families, municipality officials and project managers both in Sweden and the Netherlands.This text takes a migrant perspective as most data are derived from around ten in-depth interviews with migrant families in this particular Central Swedish municipality. Central questions consider the migrants’ aspirations and expectations prior to moving, as well as their socio-cultural experiences in the place of destination. Attention is given to the migrants’ mode and sector of employment, both prior to and after migration. The aim of this paper is to examine what factors contributed to the decision of the migrants to move to this area in general and this municipality specifically. Moreover, reference is made to the temporal character of their move. The migrants’ relationship to the new home area, as well as the meanings they attach to opportunities of mobility and transnational ties are central themes in this paper.

  • 3.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Dutch migrants in the Swedish countryside at the beginning of the twenty-first century: international lifestyle migration, transnational entrepreneurship and the Bergslagen area2009In: Change: society, environment and science in transition, 2009, p. 171-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Even though different sources may present somewhat different figures, the message is clear; the number of Dutch emigrants is rising sharply at the beginning of the twentyfirst century. A significant part of these migrants leaves for Sweden. Why are they leaving in such large numbers, and what attracts them in the country of destination?

    In this article, both Dutch and Swedish statistics about international migration are taken as starting point in order to describe and analyse Dutch migrants who migrated to the Swedish countryside from the year 2000 onwards. Where in the Netherlands are they from, and where in Sweden do they settle? What is their demographic and socioeconomic background? Building on these keycharacteristics, examples of Dutch settlers are taken from the Bergslagen area in central Sweden. In this article, I describe and analyse a number of different recruitment strategies, as deployed by Swedish rural municipalities. I also focus on the Dutch migrants’ prospective employment and life after migration. I argue that transnational entrepreneurship is both a trigger for migration and makes (at least a number of) them an interesting group to research. With the help of a longitudinal database, I will reveal more details about the employment of the Dutch migrants.

    Based on the large body of literature about international lifestyle migration and some of my previous studies, I identify particular factors that play a large role in the migrants’ decision to leave. I also focus on the migrants’ motives for choosing the Bergslagen area and for aspiring a certain postmigration lifestyle. The purpose of the article is to attempt to describe in what way the concept of lifestyle can be used in this study, as well as defining the most significant features of the postmigration lifestyle of the Dutch migrants. This article concludes with a discussion of subjects for future research on this phenomenon that I call “the orange wave”.

  • 4.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    “I Felt Confined”: narratives of ambivalence among Dutch lifestyle migrants in rural SwedenManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Within the context of lifestyle migration, this chapter describes and analyses the motives of a group of affluent Western migrants in the rural Swedish municipality of Hällefors...

    ...The Dutch seem to prefer rural and sparsely populated areas over urban areas (Eimermann et al. 2012).Against this background, the study at hand focuses in particular on one rural Swedish municipality: Hällefors. The aim of this chapter is to examine the migration process of Dutch lifestyle migrants in Hällefors and their ambivalent attitudes towards returning, and thereby to give voice to the hope, pain, nostalgia, and triumph of lives lived in other places (King et al.1995). Consequently, the empirical question is as follows: “After migrating to Hällefors, what influences the Dutch households’ attitude towards returning?” This question is addressed through narratives of Dutch migrant households, gathered during fieldwork in 2011.

  • 5.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Lifestyle migration to the North: Dutch families and the decision to move to rural Sweden2015In: Population, Space and Place, ISSN 1544-8444, E-ISSN 1544-8452, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 68-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lifestyle migration is part of an ongoing quest for a better way of life. More or less affluent migrants moving to a destination with a perceived better climate are studied in the context of social rather than economic motivations. This paper focuses on Dutch families and their decision to move to the rural municipality of Hällefors in the Bergslagen area, Sweden. Such a Nordic destination, actively attracting migrants, has not previously been investigated in the context of lifestyle migration. The purpose of the paper is to examine what factors contribute to the decision to move. The research questions are the following: what are the socio-demographic characteristics of the migrating families? What meanings do the migrants attach to their work environments and places of residence prior to moving? What motivations and expectations have shaped the decision to move? These questions are addressed through an interview study. Results show that the adult family members were mainly born in the late 1950s or in the 1960s. The children were born in the 1990s and early 21st century. According to most respondents, effects of overpopulation and rapid urbanisation, both felt on the work floor and in the living environment, became a serious trigger to leave the Netherlands. Differences between the families consider the character of occupations (within or outside the creative industries) and the length of the decision process. In contrast to some other lifestyle migrant populations, families in this study considered returning as part of their ongoing quest.

  • 6.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Marketing the good life in rural Sweden: how and why is it done?2012In: International place branding conference: special edition: roots - politics - methods : conference proceedings / [ed] Ares Kalandides, Manchester: The Institute of Place Management , 2012, p. 76-91Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Urban-to-rural consumption-led mobility contributes to restructuring of stagnating rural areas in Europe and elsewhere. Against this background, the paper at hand explores international rural placemarketing efforts by Swedish municipalities in Dalarna and Bergslagen, toward affluent West-European migrants, exemplified by campaigns in the Netherlands. The analysis is carried out utilising the concepts of rural place marketing, rural idyll, lifestyle migration and the good life.

    Design/methodology/approach – Research methods employed in this paper are observation and a survey during migration fairs and information meetings, followed by an interview study.

    Findings – Results suggest that rural, peripheral and sparsely populated municipalities are most actively engaged in international place marketing efforts. Although numerous modes of spreading information are utilised, presence at migration fairs is increasingly essential. The engaged municipalities are highly selective considering target groups. Attracting even a few of the ‘right type’ of migrants (i.e. families and entrepreneurs from affluent countries) over the course of some years contributes considerably to maintaining a small municipality’s population and economic viability.

    Originality/value – Therefore, these social dimensions should be included in any type of measure of effectiveness. However, conditions and resources vary across rural areas in Sweden and elsewhere, implying that different variants of the above analysed place marketing efforts may continue to develop in rural areas of Europe and beyond.

  • 7.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Narratives of ambivalence by Dutch lifestyle migrants in Hällefors, Sweden.2013In: Association of American geographers (AAG)  2013: annual meeting program, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The proposed text discusses contradictory and ambivalent discourses between life before and life after migration. Hällefors is a rural Swedish municipality coping with unfavourable conditions of economic stagnation and population decline. In an attempt to turn this tide, a Holland-project was conducted between 2004 and 2007. The aim of the project was to attract a number of Dutch families, preferably with young children. This would assist in sustaining social services such as day care at a local level. Moreover, as the adults are of working age, and economically active in creative industries, an additional aim of the project was to facilitate adaptation from heavy industry to a knowledge economy. Around 50 Dutch families settled in Hällefors in the early 21st century. During and after interviews with the remaining families their attitude towards return is investigated. The aim of this study is to examine the migration process of Dutch lifestyle migrants in Hällefors and their ambivalent attitudes towards return, and thereby, to give voice to the hope, pain, nostalgia and triumph of lives lived in other places (King et al. 1995). Consequently, the empirical question is 'after migrating to Hällefors, what influences the Dutch households' attitude towards return?' This question is addressed through an interview study, conducted in 2011. As studied in this text, the direction of the move (north), the destination (a problematic municipality) and the structure for the decision process (a municipality actively attracting incomers in cooperation with an agency) are novel aspects to existing studies of lifestyle migration.

  • 8.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Promoting Swedish countryside in the Netherlands: International rural place marketing to attract new residents2015In: European Urban and Regional Studies, ISSN 0969-7764, E-ISSN 1461-7145, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 398-415Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Urban-to-rural consumption-led mobility contributes to restructuring stagnating rural areas in Europe. Against this background, this article explores international rural place-marketing efforts by Swedish municipalities towards affluent western European migrants, exemplified by campaigns in the Netherlands. The analysis is based on the concepts of rural place marketing and lifestyle migration. Research methods employed in this article are observation and a survey during migration information meetings, followed by interviews with both stakeholders and migrants. The results suggest that rural municipalities with less favourable or unfavourable geographic conditions are the most actively engaged in international place-marketing efforts. Participation in migration information meetings and the Internet are the most commonly used communication strategies. The engaged municipalities are selective in their consideration of target groups. Attracting even a few of the ‘right type’ of migrants (i.e. families and entrepreneurs from affluent countries) over the course of some years contributes considerably to maintaining a small municipality’s population and economic viability. However, although stakeholders claim that the marketing efforts have been effective and statistics point out that the number of Dutch migrants has increased, it is hard to distinguish the effect of rural place-marketing campaigns from the myriad possibilities for migrants to gather information about potential destination areas. Therefore, regional policy makers may consider shifting their focus to actively receiving potential migrants who are in the final stage of their decision process.

  • 9.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Promoting the "good life" in central Sweden2011In: Geographical knowledge, nature and practice, 2011, p. 68-69Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    On the one hand, certain rural areas of Central Sweden are facing challenges of economic decline and depopulation in the early 21st century. on the other hand, the number of Dutch migrating to Sweden has increased steadily over the past decade. As a result of these developments, Dutch migrants have become a target group for the promotional activities of certain Central Swedish municipalities.

    Against this empirical background, this paper aims to examine contemporary international place promotion of Nordic rural areas in order to attract counter-urban movers, exemplified by Central Swedish marketing campaigns towards Dutch (prospective) migrants. Methods applied are observation during emigration fairs in the Netherlands and a study of promotional material disseminated by Central Swedish municipalities through their “Holland-projects”. Moreover, an interview-study is conducted amongst municipal officials and recruiters at two organisations actively engaged in attracting Dutch and other counter-urban migrants to Central Sweden. Empirical questions considering the expectations of the recruiting municipalities are addressed in the paper. Moreover, the paper studies how the municipalities justify recruiting affluent western migrants.

  • 10.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Så upptäckte Holland Bergslagen2009In: Fram träder Bergslagen: nytt ljus över gammal region / [ed] Maths Isacsson, Mats Lundmark, Cecilia Mörner, Inger Orre, Västerås: Mälardalens högskola , 2009, p. 94-113Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Anmärkningsvärt nog ligger de fem svenska kommuner där det – enligt tidningen Fokus rankinglista för 2009 – är sämst att bo i Bergslagen (Norberg, Hagfors, Ljusnarsberg, Filipstad och Munkfors). Samtidigt lyckas dessa kommuner värva holländska invandrarfamiljer. Hur kan man förklara detta? Ett sätt är att studera bilder. Föreställningar om Bergslagen, så som de träder fram i värvningsarbeten och hos de holländska familjerna. Det här kapitlet beskriver de olika Hollandsprojekt som har pågått (i Hällefors och Ljusnarsberg under åren 2004–2007) och som i skrivande stund fortfarande pågår (i Ludvika och Smedjebacken från och med 2008).

  • 11.
    Eimermann, Marco
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    There and back again?: Dutch lifestyle migrants moving to rural Sweden in the early 21st century.2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis has a twofold aim. First, it studies motivations and decision processes of Dutch families moving to rural Sweden, with a focus on Hällefors municipality in the Bergslagen area. Second, it explores how this migration flow can be conceptualised within migration theory. The results of the study are presented in four papers.

    The migrants’ characteristics are explored using variables from the Bergslagen Database. This is complemented with data from interviews with municipality officials, project leaders and Dutch families in rural Sweden.The theoretical framework consists of literature on counterurbanisation, the creative class thesis and lifestyle migration. The creative class thesis has inspired many rural place marketing projects and efforts to attract the ‘right type’ of people to stimulate rural development. Based on the interview study, I argue that lifestyle migration research offers most apt insights into the act of migration within the wider life trajectories of these Dutch families.

    The thesis offers new empirical data that suggest amendments to be made to the academic definition of lifestyle migration. Additional contributions consider the novel geographic direction of the migration flow (northwards), the destination (a deprived area) and the structure framing the decision process; a local authority and its deliberate attempts to attract new residents from abroad. The findings suggest transcending four binaries. First, in the context of an integrating EU, the thesis adds international dimensions to the initial story of internal counterurbanisation. Second, these flexibly mobile families transcend and combine issues of urbanity and rurality through access- facilitating technology and cheap means of long distance transport. Third, this study reiterates the importance of production as a complement to consumption in lifestyle migration research. Finally, the thesis adds dynamic issues of transience to the static permanent-temporary binary of migration.

  • 12.
    Eimermann, Marco
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Lundmark, Mats
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Müller, Dieter K.
    Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Exploring Dutch migration to rural Sweden: international counterurbanisation in the EU2012In: Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, ISSN 0040-747X, E-ISSN 1467-9663, Vol. 103, no 3, p. 330-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores whether the concept of counterurbanisation, expanded with an international dimension, offers a valuable framework for understanding recent migration flows from the Netherlands to Sweden. Using a geo-referenced database comprising demographic and socio-economic variables, the post-migration employment status, employment sector and settlement location of Dutch migrants in Central Sweden are analysed. In addition, results from observation, interviews and a survey during emigration fairs are employed to describe the motives for migration from the Netherlands to Central Sweden. We argue that counterurbanisation is not an exhausted research topic, when international political, economic and socio-cultural factors are added to the study.

  • 13.
    Eimermann, Marco
    et al.
    Department of Geography and Economic History, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Trumberg, AndersÖrebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Place and Identity: a new landscape of social and political change in Sweden2015Collection (editor) (Refereed)
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