Rural Social Sphere: Development Processes and Policy Technologies in Russia
Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Barnaul, Russia
The paper presents the findings of rural social sphere trends and mechanisms since 1992 in Russia. Special attention was paid to modern processes in people income and employment spheres, social infrastructure dynamics, demographic reproduction and migration streams, peculiarities of nation state and local social policies in rural areas. The findings based on quota sample inquiries of rural inhabitants differing on gender, age, places of employment and residence (N=1011, 2008; N= 1100, 2002) and expert questionings of local authorities and heads of agricultural enterprises and social organizations (N=222, 2008; N = 25, 2004; N=53, 2002). Last research was conducted in two Russian regions (Altai krai and Altai Republic) under finance support of Russian Foundation for the Humanities (grant "07-03-00321").
The profound changes in rural social sphere trends for last almost two decades of nation state and municipal reforms has been showing in concentration of poverty and unemployment, social infrastructure worsening, various human rights violations in spheres of income payment and labor conditions, low economical activities of rural inhabitants, ineffective using of modern social policy technologies by government bodies, imperfection of their interactions with rural business structures and public organizations in the field of social policy.
A rating of main rural social challenges was revealed, leaders of them are the following: extremely low wages and pensions under impetuous growth on consumer prices, lack of workplaces, especially for youth, alcoholism and drug addiction spreading, neediness of elementary public utilities, large social differentiation, intensive migration of young people from rural areas.
The rural social sphere shifts for yeas of 2000s were unidirectional, mixed picture of non-system reforms was revealed. On the one hand reduction of cultural and consumer service organizations has been continuing that partly was impacted by imperfection of federal and local self-government reforms, and as a result greater lack of financial resources for social development was become to feel. On the other hand some positive changes in welfare standards, education, and public health, demographic reproduction were appeared because of national projects and federal social programs implementation. Main directions and technologies of social policy on rural social development are presented in the paper.