Sustaining a Village's Social Fabric?

Edward H. Huijbens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article deals with the rural community of Fjallabygg{eth} in North Iceland and second home inhabitants of the constituent villages of Siglufjör{eth}ur and Ólafsfjör{eth}ur. Up to a quarter of the housing in these villages is owned by people with their registered residence elsewhere. The article asks whether and how the owners of these houses contribute to the maintenance of the villages' social fabric, building on the notion of social capital, in any formal or informal sense. The article finds that there are two types of second home owners. One the homesick local maintaining ties with family and friends and the other of those pursuing a lifestyle of creative leisure. The latter are actively involved in community projects, whilst the former are passive audience to these. Thus the article concludes by finding that community expats maintain a village's social fabric for mostly selfish reasons and to a limited extent, whilst those seeking a place away from home will be more active in maintaining it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-352
Number of pages21
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

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