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Much of the literature on globalization has centered on the large, macro-level forces that influence the ways ideas, people, and various forms of capital move around the world. From this vantage point, discussions about the progressive feminization of migration, in particular the feminization of out-migration from rural areas, indicate an intriguing trend. Simultaneously, the local experience of global forces is an important way of exploring how macro-level processes are navigated by social actors on the ground. This provides added texture to our understanding of why and how people make decisions about their lives within an increasingly interconnected social, economic, and political environment. This volume explores whether concurrent patterns in identity development, social relations, and youth behaviors on the micro-level might help explain similarities observable at the macro-level. Through a triangulated approach that balances between statistical backdrops, extant quantitative research, and in-depth qualitative interviews, this book theorizes about shifts in gender normativity, efforts towards social mobility, and the possible effects of an increasingly globalized society. To do this, it examines the decision-making processes employed by high-achieving young women from rural areas in Vermont and Leinster, Ireland as they figured out who they wanted to become as adults and where they wanted to be those people. Remaining mindful of structural constraints and using the lens of the "psychic landscape" (Reay 2005) to view class as a reflexive practice, this book peers into the ways certain types of identity evident among blue-collar students seem to be carving out some potential for social and spatial mobility amidst both global and local trends.
About the Author
Wendy Geller is director of analysis and data management at the Vermont Agency of Education and research fellow at the Center for Research on Vermont at the University of Vermont.