Volume 10, Issue 37 (Fall 2021 2021)                   Serd 2021, 10(37): 129-152 | Back to browse issues page

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Hedayat O, Basity S. Factors Affecting the Reduction of Socio-Economic Habitability in Border Villages of Baneh County. Serd. 2021; 10 (37) :129-152
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3738-en.html
1- PhD student in Sociology, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran , osmaanhedayat68@gmail.com
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Payam-e-Noor University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (521 Views)
One of the most important conditions and challenges that have affected the life in border areas is the border economy. Border economy refers to trade and economic exchanges and interactions across borders that can lead to economic and social change in border areas. These exchanges and interactions may take place legally or illegally, and formally or informally.  In any case, all these actions will have extensive social and economic consequences for border areas. The extension of these consequences for border villages might be vital because of proximity to border and the weakness of social and economic conditions. In this situation, border villages are marginalized as areas with low competitiveness and exchange capacity to be part of the development programs, policies and strategies. Border villages are also exposed to growth and continuity of opportunities and threats which affect the quality of life and the needs of residents. This situation can seem more complex when we add the access to services, the ecological threats of border areas, and the issue of migration.  Regarding all these problems, habitability of rural areas is so challenging.  The present study with a sustainable development and rural habitability perspective investigates the effects of border economy on the habitability of rural border areas of Khav and Mirabad District. So the questions of the study are as follows: how the socio-economic habitability of the border villages and to what extend the socio-economic condition of these areas is instable?

A qualitative methodology has been adopted for this study. Among the qualitative methods, the grounded theory is suitable for developing theoretical framework, which recognizes the social problems. It has characteristics such as theoretical capability, continuous and active relationship of the researcher with the topic and flexibility. Due to the nature of the present study, we used the "semi-structured interview" tool. Theoretical and purposeful sampling methods are used to select the interviewees who were asked the questions related to the research objectives. The length of the interview varied from one to two hours at their place of residence. Interviews were conducted with 46 key informants, including rural mayor, councils and religious actors in Nanur Rural District in Baneh County. According to the geographical location, Nanur Rural District has 17 villages located near the borderline. The existence of Siranband Border Market and Baneh free trade zone has given a special sitution to these villages.

Discussion and conclusion
The interviews findings showed that the border economy has strongly affected the living conditions of residents. Geographical and border conditions have shaped this situation. Uneven land elevation, land fragmentation, avoiding to use land resources, land conflicts are the most important components of the border consequences. Opportunistic attitude of border residents, lack of education, increasing dependence of villagers on public financial support, defective border markets and increasing smuggling of goods, land grabbing by capitalists are some reasons for shaping border economy of these areas. These indicate that border communities have been experiencing social and cultural transformation. Given that, the areas are facing a decrease in the economic balance. In addition, factors such as institutional barriers to production, lack of investment in agriculture, animal husbandry and industry, and security and militant orientation to these regions have contributed to the border situation, which implies the weakness of development infrastructure. We concluded that the consequences of cross-border economic effects on rural habitability was instability and reduced socio-economic resilience. Components such as high price, dependence on public support, high unemployment and lack of sales of villagers' products, and transaction intermediaries have led to poverty and instability and livelihoods reduction in the villages. However, the villagers and organizations have taken measures to deal with these consequences. Rural development and reconstruction, agricultural prosperity and turning to modern animal husbandry, reverse migration have been among the actions of the villagers, which have brought about positive results. The public organization actions such as issuing border cards and fuel cards and establishing border cooperatives have been temporary and had negative results due to political and ideological issues, and even aggravated the instability of the villages.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/12/15 | Accepted: 2021/12/1

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