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Institutional dynamics of the Russian village: historical and sociological perspective

A.S. Zhvitiashvili, Candidate of Historical Sciences leading researcher, ,
mailto: zhvitiashvili-a@mail.ru
Institutional dynamics of the Russian village: historical and sociological perspective.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 164-180

This Article is downloaded: 551 times
Topic: Sociology of village

For citation:
A.S. Zhvitiashvili. Institutional dynamics of the Russian village: historical and sociological perspective. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 164-180


The article studies the evolution of the main Russian agrarian institutions, their influence on the processes of social stratification in the Russian village. Institutional dynamics is cyclical. It is marked by confrontation between collectivist and private forms of ownership. The research employs historical and institutional approaches. Life activity of the Russian village is viewed as historically formed institutions and the aggregate of processes that change its social appearance. The genesis of a number of institutions is shown, including the institution of the estate and the institution of the community. The author considers the complex historical dynamics of the interrelationships between state institutions, peasant farms, village community, and manorial landownership. The sustainability of reproduction of the main agrarian institutions in the course of their historical development turned out to be uneven. The most solid institutional forms have proved to be the state and the peasant economy. An analysis of their transformations made it possible to reveal a cycle of changes in the institution of state and the peasant farm. The service state with the conditional possession of the upper strata turned into a class estate with private land ownership by the landlords and wealthier peasants, then the latter was transformed into a Soviet version of the service state that in the post-Soviet period passed into a state resembling the one that existed on the eve of the Bolshevik revolution. Peasant farming changed from free land husbandry to the use of land allotment on the basis of forced equalitarian redistributions within the framework of communal land tenure, from steadings and cuts during the times of Stolypin’s reform to personal subsidiary farming during the Soviet era and to farms and households of the population in the post-Soviet period. The result of this evolution was the emergence of a fixed peasant economy, in which the peasant received at their disposal the land unalienable from them. However, traditional actions continue to dominate the goal-oriented. Non-market or partially market sectors of agriculture are more productive than high-value farms, which is determined by the specifics of the values of the Russian peasant, which restrains the growth of agricultural production and modernization of the agrarian institutional system.


institutions, social stratification, rural community, rustic holding, state, values  


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