Myths and imaginaries: depictions of lifestyle migration in Country Style magazine

Wallis, Rachael (2017) Myths and imaginaries: depictions of lifestyle migration in Country Style magazine. Rural Society, 26 (1). pp. 18-29. ISSN 1037-1656


Lifestyle migration, also known as ‘tree-change’ or ‘sea-change’ depending upon location, may enhance ongoing self transformations through enactment of ideals found within social imaginaries. This article examines myths and ideals presented in the Australian magazine Country Style which draw on dominant Anglo-Australian ideas of the countryside. Readers dreaming of a rural life choose to suspend disbelief to inhabit the magazine’s symbolic space portraying an imaginary rural ideal that is an idealised myth minimising, excluding or romanticising harsher aspects of rural reality while enabling and encouraging imaginative explorations of habitus. Explorations transform the migrant’s idea of self from an imagined, symbolic space within a magazine to a potential lived reality. Three themes contributing to self-transformation and place identification are discussed including authenticity, rural abundance, and escape from the city. The article contributes to understanding representation of rural life by offering insights into how social imaginaries work through myths in a popular magazine and furthers insights on institutionalised and personalised preoccupation with a utopian dream.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2017 04:23
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 03:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: discourse; imagination; place identity; rural life; tree-change
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200203 Consumption and Everyday Life
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/10371656.2017.1285471

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