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The using of research method «CASE-STUDY»

In this article a main problems of using a method of case-study as a basic research method has been observed. Some of scientists noted that using the method of case-study can be possible only on stage of working-hypothesis building. But using the method of case-study could be actual when it is necessary to looking for small people summation with the aim of forward data projection to bigger people complex in future. In this article the outputs of sociological empirical research called «The living standards of the middle class, who has living in cottage town «Jana Kuat» has been showed. It was revealed that the basic number of livers of cottage town «Jana Kuat», people who were influenced by process of surbanization, are people from Almaty city. The research outputs showed that despite of changing of life conditions and place of living, quality of life cannot change. 

Introduction. During of contemporary Kazakh society transformation, transition from planning economy to market form, a social structure of state has been changed. The social class plays a significant social, political, economic roles in the states abroad.

However, in the modern Kazakhstan, during all period of independent, there are not objective system of assessments and criteria of middle class definition. So why It is difficult to recognize middle class, especially in his strength.

In 2013-2014 the sociological research has been organized in cottege town «Jana Kuat», Almaty Region. The case-study strategy has been selected as a basic research methodology. The main research questions: what is social identification of middle class? What kind of standards of life they have? And what kind of strategy of achievement do they use?

Methods of research. A case-study is research method, that means full and meticulous analyses of personality, situation and institution [1].

Сase study – a research strategy, directed on to deep, full and complexly analysis of social phenomena on example of separate, empirical object, happening. The evident benefit of this method is possibility of taking deeper information about latent processes, hidden mechanisms of social relations. Only using this quantitative method can help to repair sphere of non-formal relations between people.

The case-study makes it with more holistic way, due to research strategies include a set of technics and case study, in this point, has more opportunities. The method can identify a necessity of working with more concrete things than with destined types. This option could ensure a better understandingof social reality, uniqueness of each object, in the same time highlight common features for further synthesis [2].

In this way, let’s identify the case-study as the basic research method and define a actuality of research question.

The research outcomes. It was suggested to answer a question: «What is Kazakhstan middle class?» The out comes showed that respondents define parameters of middle class in Kazakhstan across parallel with assessments of middle class in developed western societies.

The middle class – it should be the most powerful layer of society as it should be in other countries. This middle class supported by state, but we have another situation: we have very weak, narrow middle classbecause of wrong assessment. So why who called as a little secured, they are real middle class, We are a little lower. In my understanding, a normal living include: such a big salary, what can allow, without consider a money, have additional costs. This costs could make me feel such a freeman (Samat, 35, PR-manager).

Byrespondents, non-objective assessment of conditions and quantity of middle class has been taken because of lack of grounded criteria system of middle class, appropriate to our society. Existing minimum statest and ards of life level are the basic for poverty line, could not index of middle class. So why we have a complexity with stratification of middle class.

If account with living wage, what state uses usually, so I can identify myself as billionaire. But in real, I can identify myself as lower than middle. SoIam middle class (Valeriy, 35 engineer).

If we will talk about general opinion about middle class’scriteria, sowetookabasic (the main) criteriaofmiddleclass. This forms you can findinany stratification system.

For recognizing middle class in case of suburbanization, there is have been used a mixed approach. The basic essence of this approach is complex using objective criteria such as professional characteristics, education, estate-incoming characteristic, and self-identification.

Its hould be noted the need for self-identification of the middle classas part of civil society. The civic identity is measured by trust insurrounding, participation in public actions, manifestations of solidarity, responsibility forbusiness in the country, willingness to act in the name of her interests [3]. 

Table. Criteria of middle class 





Economical characteristic

Level of income

Possibility to save money

Family budget

Attitude to credits





Property characteristic

Real estate

Havinga additionalpropertyinthecity




Educational characteristic

Level of education

Additional education

Assessment of contemporary education


Professional characteristic



Free time


Abilitytoworld trip


Social-political activity

Actively participation in town’s life

Respondent’s Assessment of self-wellbeing and themselves identification with middle class had been place, first of all, by level of income. But there are were some people who could not classify themselves like a middle class by this criteria, but recognize that they live “not worse than others”, so they live in the middle.

A multiplicity of financial questions like that is building relations between respondents and interviewers, due to in reality of modern society people, usually, want to hide their real incomes. Another situation: they want to overstate incomes to look like on “ suitablelevel”. Therefore, assessment of income was based on more open information about financial opportunities and points of outcomes, also on possibility of households.

«We have good in come. We bought this house by payment by installments. We lived all this 5 years in strong economy, because paid 350 000 tengeрее months. On May, 2016, we finished our payment and flight on the sea» (Oksana, 33, logistics).

«Now we have income more than average. I can buy fur to my wife on one total salary, for example.

Itisenoughforus» (Andrey, 56, IT).

There spondents had talk about sign if i cant of quality of things that they use dand bought as usual. They can venture orientation on more higher quality of life. For many delegates of cottege town, it is very important to heave a high level of quality of life, including quality of things, clothes, furniture and etc. Many of respondents did not have the many cheap things, because do not want to buy a fake and want to save money and buy original, with higher quality.

«I think that we are middle class, first of all, by income. We have possibility to buy and using all the necessary, but it should be very good quality. I will never buy a thing, clothing or technic, what have been die after 6 months. How it calls: «I am not so reach to buy something cheap». Two children are going to private kindergarden, plus we a have a good baby-sitter. We have good salary. But without any excess» (Janajan, 35, military surgeon).

The world crisis affected on Kazakhstan families too. The respondents talk about attitude of world crisis to families’s incomes. Especially, itaboutbusinessstructure.

«Because we have computer business. This kind of business on the most suffered by world crisis. If compare our life during last three year, we can not buy something that we could buy for example, last year (Victoria, 38, business).

The results of the research show that the most residents of the cottage society identify themselves with the middle class, basically, by the criteria of the income. The level of income is an important factor in the formation of the middle class.

The level of education.

One of the criteria of the middle class becomes level of education. Education can also be attributed tothe social capital, what, according to the theory of P.Bourdieu, is an indicator of a full-fledged personality. For many respondents, the importance of the education recognized not only in its availability, but also in the possibility / impossibility of its application in the workplace. It should be noted that for the middle class, the importance of education it is not only in having higher education, but also in applying it on practice, in further professional development, obtaining a second higher education, the possibility of education and internships abroad.

«I have higher education. I was graduated from Aktau State University, an economist. Now I get a second education - online marketing. It's an online university in America. Why the USA? Because foreign education, on the one hand, is more valuable, and on the other hand, the lucky case turned up and the company agreed to pay for my education, so everything closed to be as a student. It’s about a year and a half to finishing. Taking knowledge is good, of course. Now a direction of marketing is developing very strongly, and this is the direction that I have not developed very much due to the fact that mostly of my life I worked for public relations, in the press service. Therefore, I would like to develop this direction, that find more opportunities for career growth» (Samat, 35, PR).

The quality of higher education in Kazakhstan is massive and accessible if look from the point of view of payment and other factors. Totally higher education in Kazakhstan creates a situation with oversaturation of specialists with higher education, who can not apply the received knowledge in practice. On the other hand, a quality of higher education remains low. This fact did not be unnoticed by the respondents. Representatives of the middle class argue that only having a diploma of higher education is not an indicator of a person's accomplishments.

«It's hard to assessment by the level of education today. Yes, I, of course, got a higher education, now I get an additional foreign education, but we actually do it nowadays. Every second young man has a diploma, this does not speak about accomplishments, about the education of a person. If you assess by sufficient reading, and so on, I consider myself a fairly educated person» (Samat, 35, PR).

«I have a higher education. I believe that this is not quite to indicate something. Whether a person has a higher education or not, he can makes something, all depends on the person. Nowadays, everything is developing rapidly, everything that teaches to students at the university, it all quickly becomes out of date. The higher education, from my point of view, is an indicator that a person can deal with some things, develop independently» (Vladimir, 26, IT).

Interviewed representatives of the middle class living in the cottage town are not limited to having a diploma of higher education. For this people having aadditional higher education, Master degree become the criteria of success in life, high social status, the possibility of further career growth.

«I have higher education. I graduated in the Energy Institute, Almaty. Now I'm going to study again. On the economic. It will be a master degree. We have own family business, and, at one day, I understand that I need an economic education. I submitted documents to KazEU named after T.Ryskulov. I will study at the master degree» (Oksana, 32, business).

«Higher education. Our company has very well invests in development of employees, they train us (works in airline "AirAstana"). I graduated from the company in Britain. These courses helped me a lot in my work. Spouse is a designer» (Elena, 29, employee of the airline Air Astana).

«I have higher education. Plus additional higher education, including foreign education. Master's degree in the UK. Wife also has a higher education. Received a master's degree in Finance in England. My first education is «International Relations”, the second education "International Political Economy» (Aslan, 28, director by corporative sales).

The professional activity of the middle class can be recognized as social capital. Respondents, additionally to the higher education, should be distinguished by an intellectual kind of work, that is not related to physical activity.

As shown in in-depth interviews, the absolute majority of the respondents are engaged in mental labor. Among the respondents were businessmen (namely representatives of small and medium business), teachers, logistics specialists, engineers, IT specialists, military doctors, employees of commercial banks, representatives of travel agencies, PR managers, accountants. A common feature of representatives of all these specialties is the fact that they work in the city. Consequently, they relate their work activity only to the city and work activity in the city.

«I'm a military doctor, a surgeon. Although my second daughter is still very small, I already went to work. I did not sit with any one child in a maternity leave (they have 4 children). Even now. If I were sitting in a maternity leave, I, as a large family, should have received only 54,000 tenge. This is not enough for us. So we took a nanny, and I went to work. My work is very serious, responsible. It’s happened that at the time of my graduation, the Ministry of Defense had been need doctors. And all our flow, surgeons sent to work in the army. Many then left, but I stayed. Then I got marry the same military man. I really like my work. If I did not like it would be gone long ago. I became more disciplined, I earn well. And my house is always clean. We, I and my husband, work in one military unit. "(Janajan, 35, military surgeon).

«Now on maternity leave. Before that I occupied in a family company. Family business, with my mother- in-law. Accouter. A husband is the head of the department in the National Bank of Kazakhstan" (Oksana, 32, business).

Residents of the cottage community who work remotely, at home are complete a rare exception.

«I'm engaged in logistics. I am owner of transport company. But I work at home, I have a home office. I have an office, but I have a very flexible schedule - that is, it is convenient for me. My wife is 34 years old. He works in the city.His occupation – installation of elevator equipment» (Oksana, 33, logistician).

Discussion. Leisure as a free time can also be attributed to social capital. The value of leisure in the family, in the household appeared only with the shift to the cottage town. For somebody it is associated with a negative point of view, due to the fact that "JanaKuat" is located in a suburb of the city. For othersб who makes up the majority, this is the time to devote to their family, family leisure, the possibility of more communication with friends, relatives. Along with this, there is a positive dynamic in the values of family life.

At the same time, almost all respondents note the opportunity, the desire to enjoy the benefits of city life.

They sometimes visit a cafe, restaurants, cinemas in Almaty.

«Often, we spend our free time at home. But this is only now. Previously, when we lived in an apartment, we often left the house, went to a cafe, a movie, with friends. Here we often spend time at home, sometimes we bring out children. For the same neighbors. Previously, everything was another. We walk a lot around our neighbors. We have to do it. Children's birthdays, events. Our whole street: we visited, we invited, we invite, we just sit so, bored, call, let's meet and talk. The guests were often called" (Marat, 38 business).

"Leisure is mostly at home, we like to be at home, with our family. With the husband once a month we go to the cinema. We try not to go to cafes and restaurants, we like to be at home " (Janajan, 35, military surgeon). "While living in the city - constantly went to cafes, cinemas, almost every week. Not now. There are no problems in the city. Because the city is boring. Here we have dogs that we need to take care of. Secondly, it's far to go. To go here, feed, then go back to the city - just unreal. We will still have a lawn, a vegetable garden -we do not leave at all "(Artem, 30, employee of the bank).

So we can conclude, that in the description of the conduct of leisure, there are two existing trends. On the one hand, this is a suburban way of life is provided mainly for large families, with children. For whom the value of leisure is manifested in the possibility of holding it at home, in the circle of friends and relatives. On the other hand, the desire to spend leisure outside the home is facing some problems, for example, a transport problem. In which the destination between the city of Almaty and the cottage town "ZhanaKuat" plays an important role.

The ability to save something is an indicator of prosperity in the household, including the reflection of financial capital.

Interviewed residents of the cottage town noted the possibility of savings, as well as their constant availability. In view of the fact that the cottage community began its existence relatively recently, and the majority of this residents are at the stage of building or arranging a house, the respondents interviewed note the possibility of savings, most of which have a fragmentary facts.

«Before moving to cottage town, we saved money to a separate apartment, but as a result we spent on the house. Now the opportunity to save a money it is the question of main priorities: if you throw a construction site - you can save a little. The question is what to save ... and the construction will be delayed. Only if one more machine" (Artem, 30, employee of the bank).

"Nowadays, I plan to change my car, because it is in 1997 and it's time to rest for it. But we finished paying for house only in May and in June we realized our four-year dream of my children - we went to rest on the sea. Now we are purposefully raising money for the purchase of a new car" (Oksana, 33, logistics).

"We can save. Well, we accumulated everything almost immediately, either in the house or on vacation, or we'll change the car. A last thing that savings were spent on was a car. Wechangedmycar" (Oksana, 32, business).

Conclusion. Thus, it can be concluded that the main features of the middle class are present in the representatives of the cottage town. Standards of life of the middle class, under the influence of the suburbanization process, still had been changed and have qualitative changes. However, even with changes in the way of life and place of residence, the quality of life and self-identification of oneself as a city resident remained unchanged.



  1. 1 Mustafa A. Case Study Method: Theory And Practice, Research And Management Approach. Atlantic, 2008. – 40 p.
  2. 2 Kozina I. Case-study: некоторые методические проблемы // Рубеж. – 2004. – С. 177-189.
  3. 3 Seysen N.B. Society and identity: challenges and judgment. // KaNPU after Abai. Bulletin Series of «Sociological and Political sciences». - 2016. - №4(56).

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