The Role of Domestic Food Production in Everyday Life in Post-Soviet Ukraine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

The Soviet Union's collapse brought economic uncertainty to many Ukrainians. Approximately 20 percent of the population, 10 million people, currently survive on incomes below the state-set subsistence minimum figure. Given the unrealistic nature of this state-produced definition, opovertyo levels are in reality much higher. A distinctive feature of this marginalization is its longevity, as seventeen years since the dismantling of the command economy relatively few feel the benefits of marketization. As Burawoy (2001) noted, the very fact that few people have starved to death during this period indicates that other economic practices must be in operation to ensure households survive. Therefore, there is a need to explore how people (re)structure their everyday lives in response to economic marginalization. Revealing such practices demonstrates the multiplicity of forms that economic marginalization can take, the relationships between formal and informal economies, the exploitation of marginalized groups, new spaces of resistance, and the potential impact of state reforms. Although there is an emerging literature qualitatively exploring the coping tactics developed as in response to economic marginalization, there has been little qualitative examination of the role that domestically produced food plays within this broad spectrum of practices. This article begins to fill this lacuna by exploring the various roles that the dacha, a plot of rural land given to households during the Soviet period, plays in everyday life.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1211
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Volume100
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • economic marginalization, Ukraine, coping tactics, informal economies, domestic food production