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The British in Rural FranceLifestyle Migration and the Ongoing Quest for a Better Way of Life$
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Michaela Caroline Benson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082498

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082498.001.0001

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En route to authentic living

En route to authentic living

(p.136) 7 En route to authentic living
The British in Rural France

Benson Michaela

Manchester University Press

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

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