Studying livelihoods in rural communities has recently received renewed attention. This panel aims to bring together scholars investigating the contemporary rural home as a site of production, paying attention to new and prevailing strategies of subsistence and income production.
In rural areas means of subsistence have historically been produced within and around the domestic dwelling. However, mechanization of agriculture changed the social landscape in rural areas and led to depopulation - but also, in some cases, to an integration into the industrial economy. Recently, with the emergence and spreading of new (communication) technologies, alternative food networks, funding opportunities, etc. new possibilities of making a livelihood in the countryside have emerged. Such strategies might aim to increase the self-sufficiency of rural homes and communities, while others depend on their links with the urban, thereby blurring or possibly reaffirming the boundaries between the urban and the rural. Contributions should explore the rural home as work place, investigating new and prevailing forms of rural self-employment at the place of residence, food-self-provisioning, home-production, etc. We are also interested in the cultural commodification of rurality, questioning how actors negotiate their traditional, new, and alternative livelihood strategies within their homes and their rural communities. We invite contemporary case studies from across Europe on rural homes and their domestic strategies of subsistence and income production, including a range of actors and activities, such as small-scale agriculture, family farms and cottage industries; artists, artisans, and employees (partly) working from their rural homes; rural micro- and tourism-entrepreneurs; as well as housework, live-in domestic labourers, and volunteers. We welcome papers theorising the rural dwelling as home and workplace, questioning the dichotomy of public and private, work and non-work, as well as the relationship of urban and rural spaces.