Balich N.L. Socio-Cultural Potential of Rural Regions of Belarus in the Context of Cultural Services Consumption: A Sociological Analysis

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2019.2.7

Natalia L. Balich
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Regional Sociology, Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Surganova St., 1/2, 220072 Minsk, Republic of Belarus
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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1384-7190


Abstract. The author considers socio-cultural potential of rural regions in the context of the cultural services consumption by the rural population. The researcher carries out the analysis of social and cultural infrastructure development of the village, gives numerical indicators of the activities of concert organizations, libraries, club institutions and formations, paid services in dynamics for 2010–2016. The paper reveals the degree of satisfaction of various social and age groups of the rural population with the quality of educational and cultural services at the place of residence, the availability of opportunities to visit cultural and leisure activities and cultural institutions. The given survey is based on the data of empirical research conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in 2018. The author compares subjective assessments of their material well-being of groups with different social status with the average income per family member, the minimum subsistence budget in the context of opportunities to pay for educational paid clubs for their children, pre-school institutions. The researcher concludes that the most economically vulnerable group not having sufficient funds to pay for cultural services and activities are peasants, agricultural workers. Self-assessments of the modest financial situation and requests for cultural and leisure services correlate with the low level of income of this social group. The conducted study determines that the socio-cultural potential of rural regions largely depends on the specifics of the socio-cultural infrastructure of the modern village, the totality of social, cultural and economic resources. In contrast to the city, the socio-cultural infrastructure of rural regions is less developed and equipped with material and technical means. The author highlights that in successful realization of socio-cultural potential of different groups of rural population, a major role is played by the services of the population in the field of culture, which should be accessible regardless of social status and place of residence. The researcher underlines that it is necessary to create comfortable living conditions in rural areas, to provide local residents with not only material but also spiritual well-being. Ignoring the existing problems of the development of socio-cultural infrastructure and culture in rural areas will lead to a further outflow of young people and skilled working-age population to the city.

Key words: socio-cultural potential, consumption, cultural services, rural regions, rural population.

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Socio-Cultural Potential of Rural Regions of Belarus in the Context of Cultural Services Consumption: A Sociological Analysis by Balich N.L. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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