chapter  14
22 Pages

Informal economy of rural households: restructuring of family networks and strategies

WithOlga Fadeeva, Alexander Nikulin, Valerij Vinogradsky

This chapter is based on the materials of the budget analysis of 34 village families in two settlements – stanitsa Privolnaya (Krasnodar region) and Povolgie village Danilovka (the Saratov region). Despite some regional and social differences, both the Kuban and the Saratov cases have demonstrated an equally significant role of non-formal economy in the rural communities of modern Russia. Both cases have also demonstrated a surprising flexibility of network resources, capable of evolving and developing both in conditions of the relative well-being of a big agrarian enterprise (Privolnaya), and in conditions of actual bankruptcy of a big industrial structure (Danilovka). The Saratov case also shows that in an economic crisis the role of the woman, as the actual head of the household, becomes considerably more important. On the whole, the flexible restructuring of family networks and strategies proves to be the most significant factor for rural families' and communities' survival and development during the economic recession in Russia.