Document Type : Original Article
University of Kurdistan, Iran
University of Jiroft, Iran.
University of Kurdistan, Iran.
Purpose- Rural elites, as the most important human capitals of rural communities, are a distinct and progressive stratum in various dimensions of development, and their persistence in villages can be effective in accelerating the process of rural development. Nonetheless, studies show that due to various reasons, elites are less persistent in villages and often migrate to cities. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to analyze the causes of elites' migration and how to attract the elites’ participation in the process of rural development in Kurdistan province.
Design/Method/Approach- This study was conducted in the framework of interpretative-constructive paradigm and the research method is thematic analysis. In-depth individual semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data.
Findings- The results showed two overarching themes namely rural repulsion (including six organizing themes: family and social determinism, weak infrastructure, geographical isolation, environmental challenges, weak economic conditions and weak local and regional management) and urban attraction (including four organizing themes: personal improvement, economic opportunities, social opportunities, and the use of infrastructures and facilities) are the most important causes of rural elites’ migration. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the elites’ participation in rural development could be possible through three overarching themes namely empowering villagers (including four organizing themes: capacity assessment, skill training, strengthening vitality, raising the level of villagers' demands), developing employment and entrepreneurship (including two organizing themes: promoting innovation and economic investment) and efficient rural management (including two organizing themes: managing social challenges and occupying managerial positions).
Originality/value- The rural elites’ migration is accompanied by many negative consequences for rural communities. Nevertheless, there is a gap in studies regarding its causes and especially how to attract their participation in the process of rural development. The present study can be a basis for future researches in this field.