1st Edition

Social and Cultural Change in Central Asia The Soviet Legacy

Edited By Sevket Akyildiz, Richard Carlson Copyright 2014
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Focusing on Soviet culture and its social ramifications both during the Soviet period and in the post-Soviet era, this book addresses important themes associated with Sovietisation and socialisation in the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

    The book contains contributions from scholars in a variety of disciplines, and looks at topics that have been somewhat marginalised in contemporary studies of Central Asia, including education, anthropology, music, literature and poetry, film, history and state-identity construction, and social transformation. It examines how the Soviet legacy affected the development of the republics in Central Asia, and how it continues to affect the society, culture and polity of the region. Although each state in Central Asia has increasingly developed its own way, the book shows that the states have in varying degrees retained the influence of the Soviet past, or else are busily establishing new political identities in reaction to their Soviet legacy, and in doing so laying claim to, re-defining, and reinventing pre-Soviet and Soviet images and narratives.

    Throwing new light and presenting alternate points of view on the question of the Soviet legacy in the Soviet Central Asian successor states, the book is of interest to academics in the field of Russian and Central Asian Studies.

    Introduction: The Soviet cultural legacy Sevket Akyildiz and Richard Carlson Part 1: Central Asia 1924-1991: Implementing a Soviet culture and society  1. ‘Learn, learn, learn!’ Soviet style in Uzbekistan: Implementation and planning Sevket Akyildiz 2. The emancipation of women in Soviet Central Asia from 1917 to 1940: Strategies, successes, and failures Jacqui Freeman 3. The Soviet construction of Kazakh batyrs Harun Yilmaz 4. The concept of traditional music in Central Asia: From the revolution to independence Alyssa Moxley 5. Political, economic and historical foundations of Central Asian cinema Barry Mowell 6. Socialist realism: Cooperation and challenge among non-Russian Central Asian writers Alva Robinson 7. The Second World War in Central Asia: Events, identity, and memory Alex Calvo 8. Becoming Soviet in Turkmenistan: The unseen influence of the ‘special settlers’ Isaac Scarborough Part 2: The challenges of independence  9. The failure of liberal democratisation in Kazakhstan: The role of international investment and civil society in impending political reform Richard Carlson 10. Social networking practices: Continuity or rupture with the Soviet past? Frederick Lamy 11. National identity formation in post-Soviet Central Asia: The Soviet legacy, primordialism, and patterns of ideological development since 1991 Diana T. Kudaibergenova 12. Deconstructing communal violence during the civil war in Tajikistan: The case of the Pamiris David P. Straub 13. The relics of 1991: Memories and phenomenology of the post-Soviet generation Christopher Schwartz



    Sevket Akyildiz is Lecturer at Arcadia University, UK and is a post-doctoral research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.

    Richard Carlson currently works as an energy researcher and analyst, focusing on European, Turkish and Caspian energy issues. He is a founding member of the Eurasia Studies Society (TESS GB-Europe) and editor of the website.