Release:2020, Vol. 6. № 3 (23)
About the authors:Vladimir A. Davydenko, Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Professor, Head of the Research Center, Institute of Finance and Economics, University of Tyumen; firstname.lastname@example.org; ORCID: 0000-0001-8389-4254
This article critically introduces the sociology of rural areas through rethinking and reinterpreting contemporary world contexts of rural sociology and factual representation of the Russian rural life, applying qualitative methods of analyzing in-depth interviews with Tyumen Region’s south residents. The authors employ theoretical and methodological approaches, mainly used in classical and modern academic literature on rural realities. The scientific approach of this article, alternative to the popular perspectives of political economy and sociology of postmodernism, is based on compounding the interactionist theory and social constructionism with economic sociology, and relies on the growing status of qualitative methods used not only in rural sociology, but also in social geography.
The case studies on contemporary rural life problems provide the foundation for discussion and criticism. This article also presents the first results of 2020 field research within the framework of a project aimed at studying institutional factors and forms of Tyumen Region south rural areas development. The authors prove the importance of assessing current problems and functioning prospects of the two most important Russian countryside social institutions — the local (municipal) government and business/entrepreneurship, which are considered through the dominant scenarios of their interests’ interaction with reproduction, preservation, and sustainability of rural areas.
The authors’ conclusions are drawn from theoretical and empirical results of generalization and conceptualization of rural life peculiarities, considered through the prism of sociological theories of the countryside and world contexts of this scientific field. This article focuses on illustrating rural areas adaptability and versatility to many external shocks, as well as on contributing to the discussion of the current challenges, problems and opportunities that are opening for rural sociology in the realities of modern Russian rural life. Recommendations, stemming from the current world agenda of rural sociology, propose a relatively new concept of rural politics, displaying the “placed-based” paradigm. The paradigm is to reduce the inequality and inefficiency in agricultural production by removing barriers and seeking opportunities in given locations (villages and small towns), especially those which lag behind more dynamic territories in key resources. In other words, these are the “territories of growth” (an increase in population density and yield, expansion or small reduction of farmland); “territories of stagnation” (a decrease in population density, farmland and yield); and “territories of contraction” (a decrease in population with a significant reduction in farmland and yield).
However, even for these highly generalized socio-spatial characteristics, there is only approximate information that does not allow classifying the scenarios of rural regions reproduction. Spatial dimension indicates the diversity principle of economic change and development. Adaptation of programs to eliminate disadvantages and enhance strengths of territories is likely to help achieving a high return on investment in rural policy through grants, loans, subsidies, subventions (State Program 2020-2025). Placed-based policies should have the greatest impact on lagging regions, reducing regional inequalities, facilitating regional convergence of rural areas. The concept of “territories of growth — stagnation — contraction” is not yet verified by large studies. Theoretical grounding of placed-based policies, originates from economic concepts, broadening them with spatial, cultural, social and institutional dimensions. There is evidence that the placed-based strategy will advance lagging regions and boost the country’s economy. A social policy based on this concept can be a tool for rural areas development, ensuring the complementarity between efficiency and equity.
The scientific novelty of this research lies in the development of a conceptual-categorical scheme that demonstrates the interaction of various branches of government, agricultural actors of different levels and entrepreneurs as a result of their interests coordination. The interaction is presented in a form of impact that macro-actors have on micro- and meso- subjects at the local level, which is very important for tracking the formal-informal ratio in rural residents’ lives.
Belova T. N. 2019. “Processes of import substitution in the agri-food sector”. Economy of the Region, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 285-297. [In Russian]
Blinova T. V. 2018. “Demographic threats and restrictions on the development of rural areas in Russia”. Bulletin of the SGSEU, no. 2 (71), pp. 14-18. [In Russian]
Bozhkov O. B., Trotsuk I. V. 2018. “Trends in the development of rural areas of Russia: setting a research problem and the first results of the repeated case study”. Bulletin of the Russian University of Friendship of Peoples. Series: Sociology, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 731-746. [In Russian]
Bozhkov O. B., Ignatova S. N. 2017. “Regional practices of interaction between business and government (on the example of the North-West of the Russian Federation)”. Russian Peasant Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 116-129. [In Russian]
Wegren S., Trotsuk I. V. 2019. “The paradoxes of the development of private farming in modern Russia”. Russian peasant studies, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 22-49. [In Russian]
Vinogradsky V. G., Vinogradskaya O. Ya. 2019. “Ecology of the rural world through the eyes of peasants”. Russian Peasant Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 70-97. [In Russian]
Vinogradsky V. G. 2018. “Peasant oral stories: the experience of discursive reading”. World of Russia, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 90-113. [In Russian]
Vinogradsky V. G. 2017. “Forms of informality: the invisible economy of the peasant household”. Russian Peasant Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 101-120. [In Russian]
Vinogradsky V. G. 2016. “Generational transformations of rural communities: elements, forms, prospects”. Bulletin of the Saratov State Social and Economic University, no. 1 (60), pp. 58-62. [In Russian]
Vinogradsky V. G. 2015. “The peasant world in the discourse of generational sadness”. Sociological Research, no. 12, pp. 82-91. [In Russian]
Voronin B. A., Chupina I. P., Voronina Ya. V., Chupin Yu. N. 2019. “The strategy for the development of self-sufficiency in domestic agricultural products as a guarantee of successful implementation of the food security doctrine”. Agrarian Bulletin of the Urals, no. 2 (181), pp. 53-57. [In Russian]
Tsybenko O. P. (transl.). 2001. Hesiod Complete Collection of Texts. Poems “Works and Days” and Others. Fragments translated by O. P. Tsybenko, introduction by V. N. Yarkho, commentaries by O. P. Tsybenko and V. N. Yarkho. (Series “Antique Heritage”). Moscow: Labyrint. 256 pp. [In Russian]
Electronic Fund of Legal and Normative and Technical Documentation. “State Program of the Tyumen Region ‘Development of the Agro-Industrial Complex’ for 2013-2020”. Accessed 21 August 2020. http://docs.cntd.ru/document/423908104 [In Russian]
Portal of State Programs of the Russian Federation. “State Program ‘Integrated Development of Rural Territories’ for 2020-2025”. Accessed 28 August 2020. https://programs.gov.ru/Portal/pilot_program/48/passport [In Russian]
Narykova N. M., Yakovkina N. M. 2004. “Agrarian sociology of Florian Znanetsky: the origin of the ‘Polish tradition’ in peasant studies”. Bulletin of Stavropol State University, no. 39, pp. 42-47. [In Russian]
Nikulin A. M., Trotsuk I. V. 2014. “Rural development of Finland: interaction of the state, farmers and science (possible lessons for Russia)”. World of Russia. Sociology. Ethnology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 67-94. [In Russian]
Okladnikova E. A., Vorontsov A. V. 2020. “Images of the future village: the opinion of rural entrepreneurs in the Non-Black Earth Region”. Bulletin of St. Petersburg University. Sociology, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 292-314. [In Russian]
Paderin A. S., Pakhomchik S. A. 2010. “Trends and prospects of transformations in the agro-industrial complex of the region (on the example of the South of the Tyumen Region)”. Agrarian Bulletin of the Urals, no. 6 (72), pp. 12-14. [In Russian]
Rosstat. 2019. The Regions of Russia. Main Characteristics of the Subjects of the Russian Federation. 2019. Moscow. Accessed 14 August 2020. https://rosstat.gov.ru/bgd/regl/b19_14s/Main.htm [In Russian]
Toshchenko Zh. T. (ed.). 2016. The Meanings of Rural Life (Experience of Sociological Analysis). Moscow: Center for Social Forecasting and Marketing. 368 pp. [In Russian]
Steel K. 2016. Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. Translated from English by M. Korobochkin. Moscow: Strelka Press. 453 pp. [In Russian]
Toennies F. 2002. Community and Society. Basic Concepts of Pure Sociology. Translated from German by D. V. Sklyadnev. Saint Petersburg: Vladimir Dal. [In Russian]
Trotsuk I. V. 2019. “Justice in sociological discourse: semantic, empirical, historical and conceptual searches”. Sociological Review, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 218-249. [In Russian]
Trotsuk I. V., Nikulin A. M., Vegren S. 2018. “Interpretations and methods of measuring food security in modern Russia: discursive and real contradictions”. World of Russia, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 34-64. [In Russian]
Trotsuk I. V. 2018. “Biological, social and moral in explaining the logic of history, or is it worth looking for a peasant in the modern world”. Russian peasant studies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 155-179. [In Russian]
Trotsuk I. V. 2014. “Discursive construction of social reality: conceptual foundations and empirical methods for exposing ‘bad’ practices”. Sociological review, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 206-224. [In Russian]
Urri J. 2012. Mobility. Translated from English by A. V. Lazarev, foreword by N. A. Kharlamov. Moscow: Praxis. 576 pp. [In Russian]
Glazovsky N. F., Gordeev A. V., Sdasyuk G. V. (ed.). 2005. Sustainable Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas. Foreign Experience and Problems of Russia. Moscow: KMK Press. 614 pp. [In Russian]
Filippov A. F. 2008. Sociology of Space. Saint Petersburg: Vladimir Dal. 271 pp. [In Russian]
Shagaida N. I., Uzun V. Ya. 2015. Food Security in Russia: Monitoring, Trends and Threats. Moscow: Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). 110 pp. [In Russian]
Abbott A. 2001. Time Matters: On Theory and Method. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 296 pp.
Buttel F. H., Newbly H. 1980. Rural Sociology of the Advanced Societies: Critical Perspectives. Rowman & Littlefield. 529 p.
Cloke P., Marsden T., Mooney P. 2006. Handbook of Rural Studies. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc. 528 pp.
Döner F. N., Figueiredo E., Rivera M. J. (eds.). 2020. Crisis and Post-Crisis in Rural Territories. Social Change, Challenges and Opportunities in Southern and Mediterranean Europe. Springer International Publishing. vi, 214 pp.
Green G. P. (ed.). 2014. Handbook of Rural Development. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Ltd. 384 pp.
White E., Hugh G. (ed.) 2014. Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica. California: CreateSpace Independent. 714 pp.
Hillyard S. 2007. The Sociology of Rural Life. Berg. Oxford, New York. 204 pp.
Jaffe J., Gertler M. 2017. “Rural Sociology”. In: The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, pp. 435-444. Cambridge University Press.
Keil R. 2003. “Urban Political Ecology”. Urban Geography, no. 24 (8), pp. 723-238.
Keil R., Young D. 2014. In-Between Mobility in Toronto’s New (Sub)urban Neighbourhoods. Mobilities and Neighbourhood Belonging in Cities and Suburbs. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lowe P., Marsden T., Murdoch J., Ward N. 2012. The Differentiated Countryside. London; New York: Routledge. 190 pp.
Merton R. K. 1995. “The Thomas theorem and the Matthew effect”. Social Forces, December, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 379-424.
Newby H. 1979. “Urbanization and the rural class structure: reflections on a case study”. The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 30, no. 4, Special Issue, pp. 475-499.
Newby H. 1980. “Rural sociology”. Current Sociology, no. 28 (1), pp. 1-117.
Pahl R. E. 2005. “Are all communities in the mind?”. Sociological Review, no. 53 (4), pp. 621-640.
Ritzen G. 2011. Sociological Theory. McGraw-Hill, 652 pp.
Simmel G. 1971. On Individuality and Social Forms. Edited by D. Levine. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 412 pp.
Simmel G. 1978. “The Metropolis and Mental Life”. In: Wolff K. H. (ed.). The Sociology of Georg Simmel, pp. 409-427. New York: The Free Press.
Lebesco K., Naccarato P. (eds.). 2018. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture. Bloomsbury Academic. 368 pp.
Korgen K. O. (ed.). 2017. The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology. Cambridge University Press. 538 pp.
Thomas W. I., Swaine T. D. 1928. The Child in America: Behavior Problems and Programs. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 583 pp.
Thomas W. I., Znaniecki F. 1918-1920. The Polish peasant in Europe and America: in 5 vols. Boston: Richard G. Badger.
Watt P., Smets P. 2014. Mobilities and Neighbourhood Belonging in Cities and Suburbs. Palgrave Macmillan, London. 258 pp.
Urry J. 2000. Sociology Beyond Societies: Mobilities for the 21st Century. London: Routledge. 272 pр.
Urry J. 2007. Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity Press. 336 pp.
Urry J. 2009. “Mobilities and Social Theory”. Turner B. S. (ed.). The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory, pp. 477-495. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.