Posted by: Dr. Breffni Lennon | June 6, 2012

Perceptions of the rural and urban by Marie Mahon, NUIG

Articulating perceptions of rural and urban – the use of semantic scales
Marie Mahon
Department of Geography, National University of Ireland Galway

Places in the urban fringe are significant in terms of being almost at the interface between the ‘urban’ and the ‘rural’, where processes of change that arise from interaction between the two spheres can be examined in a specific setting. Any study of such places involves a consideration of what constitutes the ‘rural’, itself the subject of ongoing debate. When conducted from the perspective of those residing in such places, the most suitable approach to eliciting and analysing their observations and perceptions must also be weighed up. This article presents the methodology and findings of a section of research conducted in three urban fringe areas in the West of Ireland. The principal objective of the research was to contribute to the study and understanding of places situated in the urban fringe, particularly in the context of rapid economic and social change taking place therein. The specific focus upon the direct accounts of residents as the basis for establishing these understandings and perceptions, including those relating to rural and urban, is discussed. The use of a semantic differential scaling technique as part of this approach is explored.

Articulating perceptions of rural and urban – the use of secmantic scales. Marie Mahon,  NUIG. Irish Geography, Volume 38(2), 2005, 192-208.

The full article can be accessed here.


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