Kazakh and Russian identities in transition : the case of Kazakhstan
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This dissertation concerns the development and interaction of Kazakh and Russian identities in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. My research questions were: (1) what was the character of these identities in 2003/04 (the time of my research); (2) how have these identities interacted to form dominant and subordinate identities, and (3) how can the character of these identities and their interaction be explained? In order to research these questions I used a general questionnaire followed up by open ended interviews of a representative sample of Kazakhstani citizens. While my research findings show continued uncertainty and provisionality in both Kazakh and Russian identities, which confirms the broad trend of previous surveys, they also indicate signs of change in the emergence of more consolidated dominant and subordinate identities in the less Russianised areas like Chimkent and among the younger generation, while by contrast the older generations of Russians, particularly in the more Russianised areas, find it difficult to accept the delegitimation of their dominant status as reflected in the nationalizing policies pursued by the new state. In theoretical terms these findings confirm the importance of the study of ethnic stratification, which has not received sufficient attention in previous research in this area. In explaining these developments I found that the character of the transition and also of the ‘prior regime type’ in Kazakhstan has had a significant effect on ethnic relationships, but also that international factors, such as those presented in Brubaker’s triadic model, and internal factors, elaborated by Schermerhorn and Horowitz, were also important.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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