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There's 'more' to life : British migration to rural France

Benson, Michaela Caroline


Michaela Caroline Benson


Mark, 1949 Johnson

Vassos Argyrou


This thesis is about the lives of Britons who migrate to the Lot, a rural, inland département in southwest France. It shows that, while these migrants are a diverse population, they hold in common the pursuit of a different way of life. Both their imaginings of life in rural France and their previous experiences of life in Britain motivate their migration and continue to impact on their new lives in the Lot. The migrants view the lives they led in Britain as constraining, while they imagine that through migration and living in the Lot, they augment their abilities to define the world (and their lives) in their own terms. Following migration however, they soon realize that leading a different way of life is not such a straightforward process; although they desire to be a part of the local community and acquire what they imagine to be a rural French lifestyle, this takes both time and effort to achieve. As their narratives demonstrate, they thus occupy an ambiguous position between the lives they led in Britain and the lifestyle they associate with rural France. They strive to overcome these feelings of ambivalence by demonstrating the distinctiveness of their new lives. The ultimate measure of this distinctiveness is integration into the local population. Their narratives thus reveal their attempts to become insiders of the Lotoise community. The thesis concludes by arguing that the pursuit of difference is a central feature of the migrants' daily lives. The persistence of this quest highlights the fact that the migrants never fully resolve their ambivalence. This thesis thus emphasizes that it is the process of achieving a distinctive life that is a characteristic of the lives of British migration in the Lot (rather than the different way of life itself). It seems that there is always 'more' to life.


Benson, M. C. (2007). There's 'more' to life : British migration to rural France. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 31, 2013
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Social sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Social Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2007


Thesis (27.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2007 Benson, Michaela Caroline. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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