Everyday Life in Central Asia

Everyday Life in Central Asia

Past and Present
Jefferey Sahadeo and Russell Zanca
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/12/2007
Format: Paperback 24 b&w photos, 3 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-21904-6
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For its citizens, contemporary Central Asia is a land of great promise and peril. While the end of Soviet rule has opened new opportunities for social mobility and cultural expression, political and economic dynamics have also imposed severe hardships. In this lively volume, contributors from a variety of disciplines examine how ordinary Central Asians lead their lives and navigate shifting historical and political trends. Provocative stories of Turkmen nomads, Afghan villagers, Kazakh scientists, Kyrgyz border guards, a Tajik strongman, guardians of religious shrines in Uzbekistan, and other narratives illuminate important issues of gender, religion, power, culture, and wealth. A vibrant and dynamic world of life in urban neighborhoods and small villages, at weddings and celebrations, at classroom tables, and around dinner tables emerges from this introduction to a geopolitically strategic and culturally fascinating region.

Author Bio

Jeff Sahadeo is Assistant Professor, Institute of European and Russian Studies and Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa. He is author of Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865–1923 (IUP, 2006).

Russell Zanca is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northeastern Illinois University. He is author of The Big Cotton Collective: Uzbeks after Socialism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Central Asia and Everyday Life
Part One: Background
1.Turks and Tajiks in Central Asian History Scott Levi

Part Two: Communities
2. Everyday Life among the Turkmen Nomads Adrienne Edgar
3. Recollections of a Hazara Wedding in the 1930s Robert Canfield
4. Trouble in Birglich Robert Canfield
5. A Central Asian Tale of Two Cities:Locating Lives and Aspirations in a Shifting Post-Soviet Cityscape Morgan Y. Liu

Part Three: Gender
6. The Limits of Liberation: Gender, Revolution, and the Veil in Everyday Life in Soviet
Uzbekistan Douglas Northrop
7. The Wedding Feast: Living the New Uzbek Life in the 1930s Marianne Kamp
8. Practical Consequences of Soviet Policy and Ideology for Gender in Central Asia and Contemporary Reversal Elizabeth Constantine
9. Dinner with Akhmet Greta Uehling

Part Four: Performance and Encounters
10. An Ethnohistorical Journey through Kazakh Hospitality Paula A. Michaels
11. Konstitutsiya Buzildi: Gender Relations in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Peter Finke and Meltem Sancak
12. Fat and All That: Good Eating the Uzbek Way Russell Zanca
13. Public and Private Celebrations: Uzbekistan's National Holidays Laura Adams
14. Music Across the Kazakh Steppe Michael Rouland

Part Five: Nation, State, and Society in the Everyday
15. The Shrinking of the Welfare State: Central Asians'Assessments of Soviet and Post-Soviet Governance Kelly McMann
16. Going to School in Uzbekistan Shoshana Keller
17. Alphabet Changes in Turkmenistan: State, Society, and the Everyday, 1904-2004 Victoria Clement
18. Travels in the Margins of the State: Everyday Geography in the Ferghana Valley Borderlands Madeleine Reeves

Part Six: Religion
19. Divided Faith: Trapped between State and Islam in Uzbeki