En route to authentic living

Benson Michaela

in The British in Rural France

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719082498
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701843 | DOI:
En route to authentic living

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This chapter explores the relationship between social distinction, migrant subjectivities and the quest for a better way of life. Authenticity acts as a lens through which to examine this relationship. On the one hand, it becomes clear that the migrants' ideologies about life in the Lot are characterized by their desire for a more authentic way of living; migration had offered them self-realization precisely because of the promise that this would be available in the Lot. However, migration is not as transformative as originally imagined, with the result that the quest for authentic living continues until long after migration. As the ethnography presented in this chapter demonstrates, there is also a self-referential element to these judgements, as the migrants reflect on the ways that their practices have changed over time. Importantly, it emerges that processes of social distinction and the quest for a better way of life are mutually reinforcing.

Keywords: social distinction; migrants; ideologies; Lot; migration; self-realization; authentic living; ethnography

Chapter.  8506 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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