Institute of Rural Studies

Deputy Director


Anja Herkner

Bundesallee 64
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5501
Fax: +49 531 596 5599

Institute of Rural Economics

Deputy Director

  • NN

Living in rural areas


Village street (c) Melanie Rühmling
Village cobble street (© Melanie Rühmling)

Our research project takes the perspective of inhabitants and asks how demographic change affects daily life and living arrangements in rural areas and small-towns.

Background and Objective

This research project focuses on the analysis of regional, rural living conditions. Up until now we have learned much too little about motives for living in villages and small towns, residents’ conceptions of life and how they arrange their everyday life in view of specific regional conditions.

Aims of this project are:

(1) To empirically analyse an individual resources and the socio-spatial contexts of the inhabitants of rural peripheries and small towns in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in a purposeful theoretically profound manner.

(2) to critically question persistent stereotypes of rural and small-town lifestyles.


In this research project we use narrative interviews with residents and qualitative analysis methods to look at rural areas and small towns in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Our Research Questions

  • What characterizes life in rural areas and small towns and how is this life experienced by inhabitants?
  • What relevance do regional structures have for residents and their everyday living arrangements?
  • Which conditions affect decisions about leaving or staying in the region?
  • Which factors ensure quality of life in villages and small-towns?
  • Which relations and distinctions can be identified to other forms of settlements (e.g., big cities)?

Links and Downloads

Personal web page Melanie Rühmling (Univ. of Rostock)

Personal web page Sara Schiemann (Univ. of Rostock)


Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Universität Rostock
    (Rostock, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • Bundesland Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
    (national, öffentlich)


10.2017 - 12.2021

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

Publications to the project

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