Farmers’ urbanism and its social impacts in village (case study: South Mirbag sub district, Delfan county)

Document Type : Research Paper



Extended Abstract
One of spatial consequences of improvements in transportation and communication technology is the farmers’ urbanism that causes villages’ conversion to a place for agriculture and formation the group of seasonal or absentee farmers. This condition arises from two major factors: first necessary services’ shortage in most of country’s (Iran) villages, and second scarcity of job opportunities in middle and small towns. Permanent and seasonal farmers’ interaction with environmental resources and rural community isn’t uniform. This can lead to various social impacts that understanding them is necessary for rural planning.
South Mirbag sub district in the Delfan county, Lorestan province (Iran), beside considerable emigration, experience farmers urbanism in recent years. As groups of seasonal and resident farmers emergence is visible in most of its villages. Hence research’s main question is that whats impacts have the existence of distinct group of seasonal or absentee farmers on the social affairs of the mentioned villages?

This research is a descriptive- analytical and from the viewpoint of objective is an applied one. Data gathering conducted via documentary and field work. On the basis of theoretical principles and local interviews 18 statements in the framework of 5 components identified and investigated. Five villages selected from mentioned sub district in judicative manner. Population size consists of 220 rural householders. According to Cochran’s formula a 139 sample size calculated that 80 person of it are resident farmers and another 59 ones are part-time and seasonal farmers that reside in towns of the region. Two questionnaire were employed that its validity approved by expert panel and Reliability confirmed via Cronbach’s alpha (α > 0.721 for two questionnaire). Besides descriptive statistics we utilized independent T-test, Mann-Whitney Test and Spearman correlation for analyzing data. Also for final judgment about research components Nunnally’s assessment scale were employed.

There is remarkable difference between two groups from the viewpoint of occupational structure. So that the main job of 76 percent of citizen respondents is farming. Vis a Vis main work of 85 percent of rural respondents is farming, animal husbandry and gardening. Also 55 percent of rural residents had no second works; in contrast with city residents that 60 percent of them was unskilled workers for second job.
Despite of groups’ differences in admitting each other for marriage and village’s council membership, according to obtained ordinal mean in compare with Nunnally Scale, social acceptance condition is relatively favorable (NS= 3- 3.99). Resident farmers’ acculturation from citizen counterparts is high (NS= 4- 5) In point of view of the resident farmers and relatively high (NS= 3- 3.99) for seasonal urbanist farmers. Also Vocational satisfaction is relatively high from the viewpoint of resident farmers (NS= 3- 3.99) and relatively low for urbanist counterparts (NS= 3- 3.99). Moreover both groups believed that conflict and tension’s degree concerning of agriculture, managing the village affairs, respect to values, land ownership and damaging to crops is relatively high (NS= 3- 3.99).
Furthermore Spearman coefficient shows that there is positive and significant correlation at 99 percent of confidence level, between social acceptance and acculturation. A positive and significant correlation at 95 percent of confidence level between social acceptance and Vocational satisfaction exist. Also negative and significant correlation can be seen between acculturation and years of living in the city. There is positive and significant correlation between age and Vocational satisfaction of the correspondents. In the contrary Vocational satisfaction have negative and significant correlation at 99 percent of confidence level with place of residence.

Discussion and conclusion
Thanks to improvements in transportation and communication technology and expansion of spatial, economic and socio-cultural interactions, contemporary villages are much more dynamic and evolving than the past. In such condition not only traditional concept of rural –urban dualism but also uniform look to rural groups and stratums turns pale. More than every time location selecting for life’s basic functions isn’t limited to a unique geographic place and as a result multi-spatial families formed. These families adopted diverse livelihood strategies and hence rural community lose its past uniformity and cohesion. Seasonal farmers’ presence in the villages occasionally leads to interaction and sometimes to conflict with resident counterparts. Their situation and social position is lower than permanent rural farmers. They have little influence in village’s important decision makings, despite this, in many aspects facilitates urban culture transferring to village. They have considerable interest disagreements in landownership, agriculture and village’s management affairs with permanent residents that sometimes cause to serious tensions and conflicts between them. Finally, considering mentioned conditions, more ever necessitate comprehensive understanding of the problem in order to appropriate planning for these villages.


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