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Article

Промыслы провинции: архаические и современные экономические практики населения

This article presents an empirical study of the economic activity of the population. appearing in the form of craft s, that is the entrepreneur’s self-supporting activity aimed at household subsistence. Primary forms of such activity are self-employment, individual entrepreneurship and hiring. Th e purpose of this article is to describe the relationship between archaic and modern types of craft s in the local communities. As a result, the author elaborates the concept of the craft evolution. Th e craft s were diff erentiated into archaic (traditional) and modern. Archaic craft s exist for a long time (centuries and millennia) almost unchanged; they use natural and agricultural resources, and are oriented to old markets. Modern craft s have recently emerged; they use new resources, and are oriented to new markets. Th e fi eldwork was carried out in local communities in the south of Russia (Krasnodar region, Taman peninsula and Anapa district), where in 11 settlements (the town of Temryuk, 7 stanitsas (rural settlements), and 3 small urban settlements), materials were collected on all types of informal and formal occupations of the population. Th ey are gathered by methods of direct observation and non-formalized focused interview. In most local communities craft activity is diverse. Everywhere there are from one to three or more dozens of craft s. Most craft smen practice informal employment. In every local community there are both archaic (traditional) and modern craft s. Estimating the prevalence of household activities and the relationship between archaic and modern craft s allows us to identify three contrast groups of local communities: (1) communities with the prevalence of archaic craft s; (2) communities with an equally large number of both archaic and modern types of craft s; (3) communities with a reduction in craft activity, in which the population reoriented to modern craft s, which are organized on the basis of abundant resources from tourists. Th e comparison of the number of craft s with self-assessment of the population life quality shows that labor-consuming and not fully resourced archaic (traditional) craft s contribute to maintaining the high resilience of local communities against negative external infl uences. Th e reorientation of households to modern (usually abundant) resources with simultaneous abandonment of archaic economic practices and the reduction of the total number of craft s in the local community is accompanied (or leads) to a decrease in community’s stability. It is manifested in the assessment of the quality of relations between people, and in the criminalization of the local community (the growth of crime, drug addiction, prostitution). Th e author proposes a model of the craft s development the basis of which is the ratio of archaic (traditional) and modern types of craft s in the economic behavior of the population. Th e model allows predicting the dependence of the types of craft s in the local communities on the nature and features of the available resource base. It also allows assessing the  development trends of the household’s craft activity, external threats, and the risks to the stability of local cocieties.