Factors of suburban rural areas turning into a depressed region (on the example of the Birobidzhan district in the Jewish Autonomous Region)

Chuchkalov A. S., Mishchuk S. N., Grelya N. K. Factors of suburban rural areas turning into a depressed region (on the example of the Birobidzhan district in the Jewish Autonomous Region) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №4. P. 125-135.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-4-136-163

Annotation

Based on the results of field studies, the authors consider the post-Soviet transformations of the territorial organization of suburban rural areas in the depressed Far Eastern region (Birofeld and Valdheim rural administrations of the Birobidzhan district in the Jewish Autonomous Region). Transformations of rural areas are considered as determined by multidirectional factors divided into “external” (general) and “internal” (local). The article describes an impact on the countryside of such “external” factors as urbanization, changes in the specialization of agriculture and in the administrative-territorial and municipal structure, optimization of social services, changes in rural infrastructure and external institutional conditions for development. When considering the “internal” (local) factors of transformations, the authors identify differences in the social structure of migrants from Birobidzhan to the suburban countryside. The changes in the structure of the rural population by spheres of employment and prevailing sources of income are presented as a result of the combination of factors. Some changes in the lifestyle of the rural population are described. Based on the assessment of the impact of different factors on the depopulation, the authors suggest some management measures. The authors conclude that the Birobidzhan district is a rare Russian example of the agricultural suburban territory in relation to the regional center, of the countryside with a reducing number of functions.

Keywords

Rural areas, depopulation, suburban areas, transformation factors, ruralurban migration, rural employment, rural society, rural settlement, Jewish Autonomous Region, Birobidzhan, subsidiary plots, marginalization.

About the authors

Chuchkalov Alexander S., Master’s Student, Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Lomonosov Moscow State University. 119991, Moscow, Leninskie Gory, 1.
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Mishchuk Svetlana N., PhD (Economics), Senior Researcher, Institute for Demographic Research, Federal Centre for Theoretical and Applied Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 119333, Moscow, Fotieva St., 6, bldg. 1; Senior Researcher, Institute for Complex Analysis of Regional Problems, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 679016, Birobidzhan, Sholem Aleichem St., 4.
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Grelya Nataliya K., Master’s Student, Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Lomonosov Moscow State University. 119991, Moscow, Leninskie Gory, 1.
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