Scoping review of the exclusion and inclusion of rural newcomers in community participation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Few studies have considered the impact of rural migration on rural community engagement. The objective of this research was to undertake a scoping review about the inclusion and exclusion of newcomers in rural community participation to inform design of inclusive participation processes. The scoping review used the six stages of Arksey and O'Malley's methodological framework. Narrative analysis of the articles was structured using three themes of inclusion and exclusion derived from the literature: interpersonal, socio-cultural norms, and structural and organisational processes. Inclusion and exclusion at the interpersonal level is intricate and often represents broader social rules and tensions that newcomers must navigate in order to become involved. Social norms, such as fear of outsiders and difference, can exclude newcomers from participating in a rural community. Newcomer's awareness of these issues means they are mindful of how they contribute and give respect to the social position of existing residents. Despite this, resistance to change is experienced by newcomers when contributing in organisational contexts. Formal participation processes can harness the practice and value of rural hospitality that newcomers experience as inclusionary. Deliberately designing group processes and operational norms for inclusion can reduce tensions when change occurs and prevent group loss due to exclusionary practices.

publication date

  • 2015