Task 1

Literature Review and Refinement of the Conceptual Framework

Starting date: May 2012

Duration: 5 months


The main aim of this task is to establish a refined and updated theoretical framework in order to address the principal aims of the project, particularly to develop an accurate operationalization of the principal concepts underlying the project. The task is therefore devoted to the review of the more recent literature on social representations, demands, consumptions and development policies and strategies concerning rural territories and rurality(ies). Particular attention will be given to the literature dealing with empirical evidence from western countries on the topic analysed.

The definition of the core concepts as well as their operationalization, i.e., their division in variables and indicators and the conceptual framework will be the main results from this task. A working document containing the more recent evolutions and findings in the scientific literature and also a list of variables and corresponding indicators derived from the principal concepts mentioned above will also be a relevant result from this task.

Particularly the working document produced at the end of this task will be of paramount importance to the development of tasks 2, 3, 4 and 5, since it will provide the necessary framework and knowledge base for the construction of the research instruments and definition of techniques to be applied for the collection and analysis of the empirical data. The first milestone of the project derives precisely from the results of this task and will specify, through the operationalization of concepts, the variables and indicators to be used in the guideline of the questionnaire and semi-structured interviews and define the framework and categories to be used in the content analysis.