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Non-material resources for the adaptation of rural population

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  • O. Rykovska

Abstract

The transformation processes, which continue in Ukraine for more than 20 years are associated with significant changes in the system of social orientation of the population, including changing priorities in their needs, interests of society and the state. The basic condition for the country to reach the real sustainable development, according to many scientists, is a successful social adaptation of the population, which is the development, by a sufficient number of people, of effective models of socio-economic behavior based on the use of individual resources. The subject of our study are non-material resources of the rural population, because they cannot be lost or alienated as a result of external influences and "social experiments" that occurred in the 90s of the last century and, unfortunately, have cyclically repeated. Under non-material resources we consider educational characteristics, professional qualification skills, informational and cultural opportunities, the peasants' social connections and non-financial benefits of temporary labor migration. The study found that the information and cultural resources of the rural population are the scarcest. Long-term constraints to the use of modern information technologies such as the Internet, computer programs and databases, specialized periodicals, and visiting cultural institutions leads to mental-and-cultural and cognitive deprivation. Insufficiency or lack of information inevitably leads to its distortion and causes erroneous or inadequate decision-making, and the farmers' slow adaptation to rapidly changing conditions. Theoretical analysis of the development of social relations among the rural population demonstrates the unilateralism of the resource development. There is a well-established network of horizontal interaction (family, neighbors) and vertical network relationships are almost completely absent. Any kind of social care inaccessible to the rural population, peasants' representation in government and political movements are of local character. In order to diversify the risks associated with the implementation of an adaptation strategy, it is advisable to supplement the hopes for own assets with external social interaction. It is proved that the educational and professional-qualification resources, provided their quality improvement and modernization, in the short term, will allow the rural population to build effective adaptation oriented behavioral strategies. Level of education meets, by certain criteria, the general European levels, while the use of this resource, in today's realities, is complicated by the inconsistency in orientation, profile, and quality of previous education with the requirements of the emerging labor market. Modernization of knowledge, institutionalization of new forms and methods of teaching, and the widespread introduction of lifelong education will positively influence the rapid evaluation of particular features of external changes and development of a rational adaptation strategy. The non-material adaptation resources include the effects of temporary labor migration. Without idealizing the process, and focusing only positive features in terms of adaptation of the population to the changing conditions, we found that working in more developed countries enhances the outlook, the formation of a new way of life, the transformation of social priorities, and creating new needs for its own existence and livelihood of their families. Further studies will be directed to identify links between adaptation to available resources, including intangible ones, and improving (worsening) economic and social situation of the farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • O. Rykovska, 2015. "Non-material resources for the adaptation of rural population," Economy and Forecasting, Valeriy Heyets, issue 2, pages 90-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eip:journl:y:2015:i:2:p:90-103
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