Volume 10, Issue 37 (Fall 2021 2021)                   Serd 2021, 10(37): 59-76 | Back to browse issues page

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Karimi A, Daneshmehr H. Capabilities of Social Capital for Economic Empowerment of Villagers Case: Border Villages of Marivan County. Serd. 2021; 10 (37) :59-76
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3734-en.html
1- Faculty member of Sociology Department, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran , alireza.karimi@khu.ac.ir
2- Faculty member of University of Kurdistan and researcher of rural studies of the Research Institute of Kurdistan Studies, Sanandaj, Iran
Abstract:   (499 Views)
Social capital is a way of economic empowerment of local and rural communities with which they can overcome the poverty in these communities. Bourdieu underscores the convertibility of various forms of capital and the final alteration of all forms of capital into economic capital. He believes that among all types of capital, economic capital has the ability to convert to other capitals easily and quickly. However, social capital is no only difficult to convert, but also it cannot be easily used as a direct alternative for other forms of capital. Actors can have direct access to economic resources and capital through social capital.
In developing countries such as Iran especially in rural areas, social capital as an independent variable and its effects on economic empowerment or as Bourdieu argues the conversion of social capital into economic capital has been less investigated. This must be also the case for the areas in border of Marivan County. A large part of the borderline region of Marivan County in Kurdistan Province includes the villages of Khav and Mirabad Districts. Economic empowerment is crucial for these villages to maintain their population and hence the border security particularly for the piggyback cross-border smuggling phenomenon.  Accordingly, economic empowerment of the border villagers of Marivan County is an absolute necessity. The main questions of this study are: 1. What is level the economic empowerment of villagers and their social capital? 2. What is the relation of social capital to economic empowerment of the villagers?

A survey method was used for a quantitative data collection by a questionnaire. The statistical population of the study is the villages of Khav and Mirabad District of Marivan County in Kurdistan Province. Khav and Mirabad District comprises one rural district including 39 villages, 32 of which are inhabited. Khav and Mirabad District is located in the west of Marivan County and the Iran-Iraq border.  The samples were selected by multi-stage cluster sampling. From a total of 32 inhabited villages in Khav and Mirabad District, 22 villages were selected as the sample. The selection of these villages is inconsistence with their geographical location and population. The selection of these villages is based on their geographical location and population. The independent variable of study or social capital was measured via 7 indicators. The indicators used are subjective participation, objective participation, social interactions, social cohesion, in-group trust, out-group trust and institutional trust. The dependent variable of the research or the economic empowerment of the villagers, examines the extent of the villagers' ability to increase income, create new jobs, save money, repay bank installments, etc.

Discussion and conclusion
Findings of this study show that social capital has inverse relation to the economic empowerment of the villagers. However, examining the indicators and their significance indicate that in-group social capital in the community has strengthened and out-group social capital has weakened. The relation of indexes of out-group social capital such as out-group social trust and institutional trust with economic empowerment was not significant, but their direction is positive. Although in-group social capital in the rural community has beneficial functions in rural ceremonies and collective actions, the emphasis on that and ignoring out-group social capital lead to reproducing traditional capabilities. Weak rural communication network and emphasis on in-group communication reduces the likelihood of novel activities and capabilities in rural communities. In fact, localized networks are good for developing small enterprise like farming, animal husbandry and retailing in the rural community, or latest informal jobs like piggyback cross-border smuggling and construction workers in Tehran.
Planners and public administrative in rural development have been taking the simplest way to empower the rural community, which is the allocation of small loans or a kind of distribution of money in the rural community. Despite its inefficiency, it remains the most common method of economic empowerment in rural communities. Gaining the trust of the villagers by rural community institutions, teaching new and relevant skills to the rural community, avoiding the money distribution among the villagers in the form of loans, using social capital within the villagers to form cooperatives production are the strategies with durability and more effectiveness
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/12/15 | Accepted: 2021/12/1

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