GLARUS - Global Labour in Rural Societies

GLARUS addresses how contemporary global flows of low-skilled and manual labour transform the social fabric of non-urban regions in Western society.

Manual labourers at work in the fields

Photo: Johan Fredrik Rye

About the project

The project design includes mixed methods (registry data, surveys, media analysis, field-work, interviews and photo-elicitation) and a national as well as international comparative case design focusing on specific rural places in Norway, the UK and the USA.


Building on insights from respectively migration-, labour market- and rural studies theories, three key conceptualizations will guide the gathering and analyses of the materials:

  1. Rural transnationalism: How are transnational spaces created, practised, and experienced differently in rural and urban areas? What are the specifics of the rural version of transnationalism, and with what implications for the actors?
  2. New social inequalities in rural societies: How are the interactions of class and ethnic inequalities expressed in the case of global labour in rural societies? Are there specific properties of the rural logic of social distinctions and class structures? Do labour immigrants experience their position as precarious workers differently in rural and urban communities?
  3. Multispatial rural practices, identities, and belongings: How are rural places constructed by and interwoven into complex webs of relations with extra-local places, e.g., as demonstrated by the reliance of local rural economies on global labour markets, they are “assemblages”? As actors’ everyday lives are increasingly spatially distributed – what are major impacts for questions of rural identities and belonging?

For a fuller outline of the project, see the project description (PDF) and the main project web site at NTNU


The project is funded by the Norwegian Resarch Council's FRIHUMSAM programme with NOK 10 000 000 and with additional NTNU-funding of NOK 5 200 000.


The project period is 2017-2021.

International Advisory Group

  • Dr. Karen O’Reilly, University of Loughborough, UK,
  • Dr. Aina Tollefsen, Umeå University, Sweden
  • Dr. Pawel Kaczmarzyk, University of Warshaw, Poland
  • Dr. Luis E. Guarnizo, US, UC Davis, US.
Published Jan. 19, 2017 11:33 AM - Last modified Jan. 19, 2017 2:53 PM