There is poverty even in a rich country such as Germany. This poverty has many faces and being poor in rural areas is different than being poor in a big city. Poverty in rural areas is more likely to be hidden and may be more severe in its consequences for the poor. This project aims at investigating different "faces of poverty" in rural areas.
From other research and our own pilot study we can draw assumptions about the peculiarities of rural poverty. Thus, rural poverty is:
In our project we want to test and challenge these assumptions. In particular, we want to analyze how social, economic and infrastructural conditions shape and influence different forms of poverty and coping with its consequences. How do these conditions influence social integration of poor people in rural areas and "feelings of being left behind"?
Multi-method approach (qualitative and quantitative research methods)
This project looks at the extent and the different dimensions of rural poverty. We ask:
(1) To what extent is there rural poverty in different rural areas in Germany?
(2) Which are the different forms and dimensions of rural poverty?
(3) How do poor people in rural areas cope with consequences of poverty?
A pilot study on poverty in rural and non-rural areas in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in north-eastern Germany showed that there is a big difference in satisfaction with their residential environment and the infrastructure between poor people in the city of Rostock and the rural areas in the region Mecklenburgische Seenplatte. In the city respondents are more or less content with reachability of doctors, social workers, community centres, super markets etc. In contrast, for respondents in rural areas mobility and the lack of infrastructure is a big issue. Without a car they are literally stranded. Owning a car, paying for gas and repairs is a major cost factor which affects poor people in rural areas way more than those in the city.
10.2016 - 9.2020
Project status: ongoing