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Social exclusion of older people in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Karelia

Research Article

Konstantin A. Galkin Candidate of Sociology
Sociological Institute of FCTAS RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-6403-6083
Social exclusion of older people in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Karelia.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2021. Vol. 12. No. 4. P. 193-210

Дата поступления статьи: 13.08.2021
This Article is downloaded: 112 times
Topic: The social impact of the pandemic: the latest research

For citation:
Galkin K. A. Social exclusion of older people in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Karelia. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2021. Vol. 12. No. 4. P. 193-210
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2021.12.4.760


The article discusses the issue of social exclusion of elderly people in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. The author relies on the concept that defines social exclusion as a mechanism for separating a certain group of people from an integral community. Using the example of several respondents, the article examines the effects that social exclusion of elderly people creates in rural areas, as well as possible ways of their adaptation that can minimise it.

The empirical basis of the work is collected by the author 20 semi-structured interviews with elderly people living in rural areas in the Republic of Karelia and 20 diaries of their observations. When analysing interviews and diaries, a thematic method was used. The main result of the study is the identification of various fears and characteristics of the perception of social exclusion as a condition associated with changes in the habitual everyday life, as well as the lifestyle of respondents due to isolation.

The main conclusion highlights the various fears presented in the perceptions of social exclusion by elderly people associated with changes in the usual everyday life due to isolation.

The study also identifies the most effective ways for adaptation of elderly people to minimise their social exclusion: expanding communication with neighbours, translating communication into digital format. The data obtained by the author also allow us to draw a conclusion about changes in the sociological consideration of ageing. It becomes not a state of inclusiveness and activity, integration of elderly people into society, as modern concepts and approaches denote it (for example, the concept of active longevity), but a state that is primarily determined by physical weakness. The need for isolation, as well as limitation of activity, is becoming a forced measure that negatively affects older people and the characteristics of their perception of their age and the situation of a pandemic. This work contributes to the latest research into the understanding of ageing in the context of forced social exclusion in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19, elderly people, rural areas, social exclusion, ways of adaptation, self-isolation period COVID-19

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