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

Article


Wallis, Rachael. 2017. "Myths and imaginaries: depictions of lifestyle migration in Country Style magazine." Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia. 26 (1), pp. 18-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/10371656.2017.1285471
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID22045
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorWallis, Rachael
Journal TitleRural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia
Journal Citation26 (1), pp. 18-29
Number of Pages13
Year2017
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1037-1656
2204-0536
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10371656.2017.1285471
Web Address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10371656.2017.1285471
Abstract

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.

Keywordsdiscourse; imagination; place identity; rural life; tree-change
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470203. Consumption and everyday life
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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