Case-study method in the studies of the Russian rural cooperation

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Abstract


Qualitative methods are highly appreciated in both foreign and Russian sociological research focused on practical results and recommendations. Among numerous qualitative methods, case study seems to be the most relevant for the study of rural cooperation. Cooperatives are traditionally the most important means for supporting small producers in agriculture. Historical studies show that rural cooperation has always revived under social transformations. Today in Russia, transformations in rural areas are not complete and still determine serious social-economic consequences. The state support for cooperatives and small business is one of the priorities in rural development, but it has contradictory effects. Every year, many new cooperatives are registered, but their number is always smaller than the number of closed cooperatives. The study aims at understanding motives for creating cooperatives, and at identifying mechanisms of economic interaction of cooperative members and risks and conflicts that affect the life of the cooperative. The author shows the relevance of the case study method for studying the formation and functioning of cooperatives and for testing the hypothesis about combination of formal and informal mechanisms of economic interaction in cooperatives. The case study proved the dependence of formalization of economic relations in the cooperative on the scale of its activities, and revealed motives for cooperation of small agricultural producers. This work is a part of the research within the state assignment of the RANEPA “Informal economy of rural households: Possibilities and limitations of economic practices in increasing the potential and general attractiveness of rural areas”.


About the authors

L. A Ovchintseva

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.
Email: lovchintseva@gmail.com
prosp. Vernadskogo, 84, Moscow, 119571, Russia

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