Seeking trees or escaping traffic? Socio-cultural factors and 'tree change' migration in Australia

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Abstract

Tree-changers, those who move from the city to inland country areas principally for 'lifestyle reasons', are a newly identified social group in contemporary and popular Australian culture whom are affecting demographic change in Australia's country towns. This chapter presents images of tree-changers found in Australian news media and findings from 28 qualitative, in-depth interviews conducted in 2007-2008 with tree-changers who moved to rural New South Wales and northern Victoria to addresses a knowledge gap about why individuals are leaving Austra-lia's cities for the country. Prior migration research has been largely geographic and produced location-specific, aggregate data on Australia's inter- and intra-metropolitan population migration trends explained by life-cycle. In contrast, this sociological study examines the inherently socially-derived factors, beyond age, which contribute to urban-rural migration. Findings reveal urban stresses (traffic, commuting and high population density) are key 'push' factors and stereotypical expectations that country life is less stressful, more spacious, and less expensive are key attractants. Data failed to support perceptions that tree-changers expect city-quality amenities, found most did not relocate for cheaper real estate and the majority moved to suburban homes in country towns, not 'the Bush'. Unantici-pated realities of country life (i.e., more commuting and higher living expenses) show discrepancy exists between urban-rural migrants' expectations and experi-ences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Society and the Environment
EditorsGary W Luck, Digby Race
Place of PublicationNetherlands
PublisherSpringer
Chapter4
Pages71-99
Number of pages29
Volume12
Edition1
ISBN (Print)9789048196524
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

sociocultural factors
town
metropolitan population
traffic
migration
migration research
rural-urban migration
population migration
aggregate data
knowledge gap
population density
real estate
population development
life cycle
news
migrant
trend
interview

Cite this

Ragusa, A. (2011). Seeking trees or escaping traffic? Socio-cultural factors and 'tree change' migration in Australia. In G. W. Luck, & D. Race (Eds.), Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes: Implications for Society and the Environment (1 ed., Vol. 12, pp. 71-99). Netherlands: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9654-8_4
Ragusa, Angela. / Seeking trees or escaping traffic? Socio-cultural factors and 'tree change' migration in Australia. Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes: Implications for Society and the Environment. editor / Gary W Luck ; Digby Race. Vol. 12 1 . ed. Netherlands : Springer, 2011. pp. 71-99
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Ragusa, A 2011, Seeking trees or escaping traffic? Socio-cultural factors and 'tree change' migration in Australia. in GW Luck & D Race (eds), Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes: Implications for Society and the Environment. 1 edn, vol. 12, Springer, Netherlands, pp. 71-99. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9654-8_4

Seeking trees or escaping traffic? Socio-cultural factors and 'tree change' migration in Australia. / Ragusa, Angela.

Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes: Implications for Society and the Environment. ed. / Gary W Luck; Digby Race. Vol. 12 1 . ed. Netherlands : Springer, 2011. p. 71-99.

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

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AB - Tree-changers, those who move from the city to inland country areas principally for 'lifestyle reasons', are a newly identified social group in contemporary and popular Australian culture whom are affecting demographic change in Australia's country towns. This chapter presents images of tree-changers found in Australian news media and findings from 28 qualitative, in-depth interviews conducted in 2007-2008 with tree-changers who moved to rural New South Wales and northern Victoria to addresses a knowledge gap about why individuals are leaving Austra-lia's cities for the country. Prior migration research has been largely geographic and produced location-specific, aggregate data on Australia's inter- and intra-metropolitan population migration trends explained by life-cycle. In contrast, this sociological study examines the inherently socially-derived factors, beyond age, which contribute to urban-rural migration. Findings reveal urban stresses (traffic, commuting and high population density) are key 'push' factors and stereotypical expectations that country life is less stressful, more spacious, and less expensive are key attractants. Data failed to support perceptions that tree-changers expect city-quality amenities, found most did not relocate for cheaper real estate and the majority moved to suburban homes in country towns, not 'the Bush'. Unantici-pated realities of country life (i.e., more commuting and higher living expenses) show discrepancy exists between urban-rural migrants' expectations and experi-ences.

U2 - 10.1007/978-90-481-9654-8_4

DO - 10.1007/978-90-481-9654-8_4

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

SN - 9789048196524

VL - 12

SP - 71

EP - 99

BT - Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes

A2 - Luck, Gary W

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PB - Springer

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Ragusa A. Seeking trees or escaping traffic? Socio-cultural factors and 'tree change' migration in Australia. In Luck GW, Race D, editors, Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes: Implications for Society and the Environment. 1 ed. Vol. 12. Netherlands: Springer. 2011. p. 71-99 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9654-8_4