The ageing rural population, delivery of local services and representations of rurality: a critical synthesis of knowledge and intervention models



This report presents the results and analysis arising from the use of a conceptual cartography technique adopted by the team as an information collection strategy for identifying the different social representations of rurality currently found in Québec.

More specifically, it presents two mapping exercises. The first involved a group of experts from the field of rural policy development and application including high-ranking public officials, representatives of rural partners (like the FQM and Solidarité rurale), rural development officers and some university researchers in rural development. The second exercise brought together local counsellors from small rural communities with a population of less than a thousand in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.

This analysis sheds light on the differences between individual and collective representations.

Group concept mapping is a means of organizing qualitative data using a set of statistical analysis techniques. It differs from other forms of group data collection by virtue of the fact that, despite some interaction between participants, the data is collected on an individual basis and is then aggregated using statistical analysis. The members of the group then interpret the results in a collective and usually consensual manner to identify the meaning that emerges from the information gathered.

Our analysis sheds light on the differences between individual and collective representations and the progression that occurs in passing from one level to the other.

Main researcher

Bruno Jean, Université du Québec à Rimouski

Research report 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: April 2008