Lights and shadows of social services in Spanish Rural Areas
6311.04 Sociología rural
6310.11 Bienestar social
6307.05 Servicios sociales
Fecha de publicación
Morales Romo, N. (2014). Lights and shadows of social services in Spanish Rural Areas. Berichte des Instituts Verkehr und Raum, 19, 52-60
[EN]The objective of this research is to address social policies in Spanish rural areas; social actors involved were on one hand professionals (social services and other areas) and on the other hand the inhabitants, to discern the actions undertaken to improve the current situation of the Spanish countryside. This article aims to determine the coverage of social services and establishes the valuation that rural inhabitants make about that. Therefore we try to show the strengths and weaknesses to enhance the former and minimize the latter. We identify the barriers posed to the territory when implementing social policies as well as on the institutional framework of social services. The interviews have shown two novel indicators that help or hinder social policies: “The Castilian character" and inter- and intra-municipal disputes. They also report results that we did not expect as the contrast between the speech of citizens and professionals of Social Services, the lack of enthusiasm of the professionals on the future social context in which they work or terminological inexactitude of citizens in relation to social services. The solution to rural areas does not go through the gradual increase of one service after the other independently. However a proper coordination of these services will achieve an efficient improvement, optimizing existing resources, avoiding overlap of activities and providing rural areas a better coverage at all levels. Socio-economic policies must also take into account the intrinsic reality of each area, but a priori, not a posteriori as it often happens. The Spanish inhabitants, according to the different characteristics of the habitat where they live, have access to the use of different services. Social Services must perform the necessary measures and actions to promote equal opportunities for all citizens, paying special attention to the disadvantaged for personal, economic, cultural, family, social and territorial reasons. In this future social professionals must play a crucial role and only then they will honour their surname: SOCIAL.