Rural Aging, Demise of the Traditional Family and the Rise of New Family Structures in Rural Turkey: Evidences From the Province of Kayseri

Rural Aging, Demise of the Traditional Family and the Rise of New Family Structures in Rural Turkey: Evidences From the Province of Kayseri

Ozan Hovardaoglu (Erciyes University, Turkey) and Seda Calisir-Hovardaoglu (Erciyes University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7158-2.ch001

Abstract

This chapter investigates the influences of rural aging on traditional agricultural production in rural areas in Turkey concerning the traditional family as a social structure of accumulation. Traditional agricultural production in Turkey, which is generally characterized by subsistence farming, relies mostly on the unpaid family worker for survival. The influences of migration tendency of younger family members to urban areas and aging which becomes a physical challenge to remaining family members on traditional family seem to be prevalently studied and argued in the literature. As a new variable, this research focuses on the influences of a specific population, who recently returns to their rural origins from urban areas after retirement. It is found in this research that reverse migration does not only contribute to the increase of elderly population rates in rural settlements and thus rural aging; it also has direct impacts both on agricultural production and traditional family structures.
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Key Terms in this Chapter

Reverse Migration: Refers to migration from urban areas to rural areas since the main direction of migration was from rural areas to urban areas in Turkey for more than half a century long.

Province: Refers to NUTS II Level 3 Regions in Turkey. Provinces are administrative geographies which include urban and rural settlements together.

NUTS: Regional entity from the French version Nomenclature des Unités Territoriales Statistiques.

Traditional Family: Refers to an extended family with traditional economic and social relations. In terms of institutional economy, traditional family refers to the traditional structure of accumulation.

Rural Aging: Demographic structure change which is explained by a multiplicity of variables ranging from increasing rates of elderly people in the total population, to decreasing rates of population renewal and total fertility rates and even to the increasing population of elderly cohorts in the workforce age groups.

Traditional Agricultural Production: Refers to the main economic activity of traditional rural families in Turkey characterized by subsistence farming which uses unpaid family workers.

Subsistence Farming: Refers to agricultural production in which the producer seeks for the family’s own economic needs. In this chapter, subsistence farming is used in order to represent the traditional economic activity which covers basic economic needs of the traditional rural families in Turkey.

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