Resisting economic opportunities?

an inquiry into the reasons and motivations of individuals who stay in a socio-economically deprived area

Lindsay Heinemann, Markus Hadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Appalachian states are predominantly perceived as areas with few economic opportunities and an ongoing "brain drain." This emphasis on out-migration, however, ignores an important group of individuals-those who "resist" the temptation of better opportunities, remain in their home states, and thus represent exceptions to this out-migration. Twenty qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted in the Huntington, West Virginia, area with the aim to scrutinize the motivations of this group. The results point to the importance of family ties and strong local identities as migration-inhibiting factors, as well as economic opportunities for a few respondents. This study also shows that considering rural states as homogeneous entities can be misleading, given the prevalence of internal migration and the type of opportunities that were perceived within West Virginia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-104
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Appalachian studies
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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