Belonging to Paesens-Moddergat: friction in a village next to the Wadden-Sea, A study on different feelings of belonging, changing interests and hu-man-environment relations
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In the Netherlands there is a trend of people leaving rural areas, especially small towns. The Dutch government calls these regions that are dealing with a declining population and availability of work shrinkage regions. Due to this, houses in these regions are fairly cheap making them interesting for especially highly educated people from urban areas that are in search for a more peaceful life outside the tumult of the city. This thesis is about Paesens-Moddergat, a small village that is located in a shrinkage region. Paesens-Moddergat is originally a fishing village located right next to the Wadden Sea. Due to the changing local interests, as the region is relying more and more on tourism, and the influx of so called newcomers to the town, it is dealing with friction between original inhabitants and newcomers. This thesis proposes that this friction is one of different human-environment relations and feelings of belonging the inhabitants have. Furthermore, thesis demonstrates that the village of Pae-sens-Moddergat has always been divided in several ways. In order to demonstrate this, this thesis is divided in three chapters. The first chapter is a contextual chapter showing how the history of the vil-lage is linked to the contemporary situation and social dynamics of the place. In the second chapter different feelings of belonging are covered. Here is demonstrated how these various feelings of be-longing the inhabitants have can lead to friction. The third chapter explorers the various attitudes towards outside organisations that the inhabitants have and how this is linked to the relation the in-habitants have with their environment.