Strategics of Survival in Russia's Heart (by Oksana Bocharova).
This article focuses on the strategies of survival in the Russian
provinces. It has been written on the basis of data from the survey
'Poverty' conducted with the use of qualitative methods. The author
treats information obtained in three small settlements - two villages
and one miners' township.
The types and success of strategies to a considerable extent depend
on the availability and accessibility of resources in the given area. An
important role in everyday existence, in urban and industrial areas
alike, belongs to auxiliary farms which are now as before mainly
natural economies. More profit is provided by semi-criminal ways of
earning, encompassing the collection of non-ferrous metals, the
system of selling stolen coal in the Kuznetsk coal basin, mass cattlelifting
in Kalmykia, etc. The presence and diversity of temporary
earnings depend on such factors as neighbourhood of big cities, the
level of unemployment and economic situation in an area, and
purchasing power of the local population. A great role in the
formation of efficient strategies of survival is played by social
mechanisms of support and mutual assistance, first of all, informal
institutions, family, friendly links and neighbourship.