The results of sociological research, the purpose of which was to identify problematic areas and socio-economic patterns in the development of rural areas are presented in the article. The population quality and standard of living are the priority in state policy. The use of statistical information is not always acceptable to assess the quality and standard of living, because it is not possible to assess the intentions and expectations. That is why the use of the sociological research tools allows us to specify the causal relationship of economic phenomena. The study was conducted through formal interviews of rural households. The results obtained are summarized and interpreted for the model of municipal formations of Krasnoyarsk Territory. The study of the level and quality of life challenges in rural areas was conducted in the context of socio-economic infrastructure, education, and health development, as well as the welfare of the population. Grouping of questions by fields of life of the rural population helped to identify the factors that reduce the competitiveness of rural areas to urban agglomerations. Subjective assessment of the rural population about the life level and quality should be taken into account in the development of municipal and regional programs of rural areas sustainable development. The study identified priority areas in vital areas, the solution of which is urgent and affects not only the development but also the existence of rural areas in General.
Keywords: Rural areasstandard of livingquality of livingsociological researchsocio-economic space
Socio-economic importance of rural areas in the state and the region as a whole determined the vector of legislative base development aimed at the development of rural municipalities. The rural areas have characteristics of difficult living conditions, low income, underdeveloped social infrastructure. The clear advantages of urban life shape migration intentions of the population, and to a greater extent emphasize the gap in living conditions in rural areas (Afonasova, 2018).
In Russia state support of municipal formations, resulting in the adoption of state programs for sustainable development of rural areas has increased in recent years. Financial mechanism of state programmes and sub-programme activities implementation envisages the allocation of subsidies taking into account availability of appropriate infrastructure, and the availability of budget resources for co-financing of sub-programme activities (Ananskikh et al., 2018). Therefore, in the region, differentiation of rural areas in terms of quality and living standards of the population is increasing and as a result negative trends of economic and socio-demographic nature increase.
Sociological research plays a major role in the rationale, trends, intentions, and the interpretation of causality in the economic aspect of the development of such categories as the quality and standard of living. For the rural areas stable and progressive development economic and socially equal living conditions should be established (Rimashevskaya, 2012). Therefore, there is a need of targeted support on the basis of the primary challenges facing municipalities.
One of the most acute problems of the rural territories life’s activity is an increase in the scale of socio-economic differentiation between municipalities, an increase in income inequality in the rural population, and a chronic budget deficit in rural areas (Golova et al., 2017). The rural way of life is characterized by the gradual refusal of the population to conduct personal subsidiary plots and the outflow of labour from the countryside. The avoidance of negative trends is seen by ensuring favourable living conditions in rural areas, based on the solution of the following problems:
rural economy development;
creating a comfortable rural environment;
material and technical condition of social infrastructure facilities.
The subject of the study is a comprehensive research aimed at updating the standards of well-being for the rural population. At the same time, a sociological study conducted will make it possible to update the list of needs of a rural resident of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, to determine its current profile with characteristic socio-economic features.
The level and quality of life of the population of rural areas
Improving the level and quality of life of the population is included in the list of priority public administration tasks, research on this issue is carried out in a significant number of scientific institutions, in structural divisions of the relevant departments and ministries, in the Federal Statistics Service, in independent research agencies. However, when developing priority directions for development it is necessary to take into account municipal differentiation, and the immediate expectations of the population (Shvachkina & Rodionova, 2018).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of a sociological study is to identify negative trends, centres of social tension in municipalities that arise in the process of life’s activity of the rural territories population. The construction of a portrait of the level and quality of life of the rural population will allow us to identify areas that require operational intervention by public authorities at various levels of government (Kozlov et al., 2018).
The conducted sociological survey of the opinions of respondents living in rural areas made it possible to solve the following problems: identification of changes that occur in various areas of rural infrastructure; conduct a comparative analysis of the main economic indicators for assessing the level and quality of life (Shamin & Provalenova, 2020).
Identify priority areas for the development of a program-targeted approach to activities carried out in various areas of rural life.
When conducting socio-economic studies and evaluating the processes and phenomena under consideration, methodological tools of economic developments were used: economic and statistical groups, calculation and analytical developments, graphical interpretations. A sociological survey involves the identification of several groups of the rural population - employees of municipalities administrations, heads and employees of agricultural organizations, the rural population in various age categories. A questionnaire was developed for each group, interviews were conducted with individual representatives (Bondarenko, 2016). To process the questionnaire results, standard methods were used: parametric statistics methods, statistical groups, graphical interpretation of the results. The distribution of opinions and assessments of the population about the quality and standard of living were based on the selection of typical rural territories of the Krasnoyarsk Territory (Koloskova et al., 2019). The sample was based on a typical characteristic of municipalities. Respondents were asked questions, the answers to which can characterize the life socio-economic portrait in rural areas.
The structure of the questionnaire was designed in such a way that during the analysis it was possible to evaluate all aspects of the vital activity of the rural areas population. Thus, the following areas were identified in the questionnaire.
Group of questions about the respondents material well-being
This group of questions made it possible to determine the financial situation of the respondents, the reasons for the increase or decrease in the level of population income; to assess the level of well-being through questions related to savings and a description of existing property (Ibragimova, Z. F..,2018). The economically active population was asked questions that determined the intentions of the respondents in case of loss of work, thus the indicator of entrepreneurial initiatives in a particular municipality was indirectly determined (Yakimova, 2018).
The group of questions about the state of the municipality housing stock
The questions of the presented group gave a clear understanding of the state of the respondents' housing, the main problems that the respondents had and which they could not solve on their own, these issues are related to water supply and sanitation in the municipality.
A group of questions about the state of education at various levels
The questionnaire questions for this section were formed in such a way as to understand the main problem areas of preschool education and the main problems that parents of schoolchildren face.
The group of questions about the state of medical assistance for the rural population
The most problematic area is the healthcare system in small municipalities; an assessment of the quality of the services provision will help determine priority areas for financing institutions;
Respondents assessment of the rural population economic welfare
The first group of questions characterizes the material affluence of the population of rural territories. According to the majority of respondents, the material affluence of the family and the household as a whole improved or remained unchanged. This fact can be associated with growth trends in wages in agriculture, as well as a change of job without a place of residence change. The fact of an increase in wages is also confirmed by those respondents who note a deterioration in their material situation, assessing this situation by rising prices for products and services (Figure
The level of well-being of the rural population was assessed through the availability of material wealth. So, most of the inhabitants of rural areas have a car and household appliances, which means that their financial situation cannot be characterized by the economic term “poverty” (Bondarenko, 2018).
It is important to note that most of the respondents cannot save up for goods worth more than 120,000 rubles per year, and an incredibly low percentage of respondents can buy a car or large household appliances. Despite the low capabilities of the respondents, the majority of respondents are confident in the stability of their income and financial situation, confirming this with the opinion that in the near future they will not lose their jobs, or do not think about it. Assuming the fact of job loss, respondents identified the impossibility of employment in rural areas without changing their place of residence (Figure
One of the alternative options in case of job loss, respondents were suggested to organize their own business in various spheres of rural areas. Realizing the high riskiness of organizing a business and the financial burden on the financial situation, respondents do not consider business as a point of application of their labour. The main constraints to the development of modern agrobusiness are the investment climate, financial and credit conditions, tax, and other regulatory frameworks, as well as a shortage of labour resources and a lack of knowledge about the markets for manufactured products (Zherebin & Romanov, 2002). The traditional economic reasons are the lack of equity and lack of awareness of the chosen ownership form benefits, as well as the mutual distrust of potential shareholders.
Assessment of respondents on the status of life-supporting facilities
The availability of educational services in rural areas is a priority for comfortable living and further development of the population. However, in such a priority direction, the inhabitants of rural territories highlight the problems of the mass closure of ungraded schools.
Things are much better with pre-school education; respondents note that all children attend pre-school education and there are no factors that would prevent social amenities from attending school.
In the field of rural health, residents identify the following list of problems, which is related to the availability of primary medical care based on a deficit in the network of Rural Medical Posts and highly specialized doctors. Problems are in providing emergency medical services to remote areas, lack of new equipment and modern medical technologies (Figure
The main socio-economic problems of the rural area population
The above estimates are directly confirmed by the opinion of respondents about the main problems of life in rural areas, characterized by difficulties in obtaining basic social services, hard physical labour and a high imbalance between the labour input and the wage. Residents of rural areas wish to have a full range of services within walking distance, they are ready to work in the municipality, granting decent wages (Bondarenko, 2017).
The health sector in municipalities is characterized by limited access to medical care as well as a low level of preventive measures, due to territorial fragmentation and remoteness from district clinics. The task of bringing the level of medical assistance to the rural population closer to the urban one in the Krasnoyarsk Territory remains relevant and significant for maintaining vital processes (Criulina, 2016). There is a downward trend in appeals by residents of remote territories due to transport and temporary inaccessibility. The bulk of medical assistance to the rural population is provided by paramedical personnel. Features of the organization of medical care for villagers are characterized by a significant decentralization of outpatient care.
Migration intentions of rural residents
Migration intentions of the population directly depend on the level of social arrangement of the rural territory, which is confirmed by the survey data presented in the table
The state of migration intentions, the outflow of youth from rural areas is determined by the following reasons, according to respondents: a low level of wages, the state of affairs in agriculture, problems with employment and hard physical labour.
The study was supported by the Regional State Autonomous Institution "Krasnoyarsk Regional Fund for the Support of Scientific and Scientific-Technical Activities”.
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21 October 2020
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Economics, social trends, sustainability, modern society, behavioural sciences, education
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Koloskova, Y. I., Parshukov, D. V., & Shaporova, Z. E. (2020). Sociological Studies Of The Krasnoyarsk Region Rural Territories Population Life Quality. In I. V. Kovalev, A. A. Voroshilova, G. Herwig, U. Umbetov, A. S. Budagov, & Y. Y. Bocharova (Eds.), Economic and Social Trends for Sustainability of Modern Society (ICEST 2020), vol 90. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 559-566). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.03.63