Attractiveness of Rural Areas for Young, Educated Women in Post-Industrial Society

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Most scholars of rural gender studies do not consider the essential changes in rural economy and life styles, defining rural areas as traditional and conservative. Research is still extremely fragmented into new problems facing the female population in rural areas, those arising from the changes in the lifestyle and the diversified income sources typical of post-industrial rural settlements. This article hence identifies several significant changes in economic and social life in rural areas dealing with the differences between the attractiveness of rural areas as living place for women in the industrial society of the 20th century and the post-industrial society of the 21st century.

The empirical research presented here proves the relevance of post-industrial theory in a real-world environment by testing the validity of several stereotypical opinions about the motivation to live in Lithuanian rural areas from the position of young well-educated people. The analysis of the opinions of young well-educated women reveals that their motivation is rather different from the perceptions of what was important and motivating for finding good living places; these perceptions have otherwise been pointed out by many gender studies based on the industrial society framework. These findings are a call for implementation of new rural policy measures following the higher incidence of young females as rural entrepreneurs, family farm managers, professionals, and local community leaders.

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