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Socialist promises, ethnography and the building of a Kyrgyz Soviet Nation


Chokobaeva, Aminat (2015). Socialist promises, ethnography and the building of a Kyrgyz Soviet Nation. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 69(3):543-561.

Abstract

This article attempts to answer the question of how an ethnographic survey transformed into a political question at the heart of the young Soviet Kirghizia. The debate centered on whether a class could be made out of the manaps, the tribal chieftains, utterly suspect in Soviet eyes. The article argues that by clothing the Soviet assault on the Central Asian traditional nomadic societies in the developmentalist Marxist rhetoric, the authorities justified the elimination of a social group – manaps – that they held accountable for the backwardness and unproductiveness of the nomadic economy. Thus, the “proper” categorization of manaps had deep consequences for the theoretical and ideological legitimacy of the Soviet project of socialist construction in the national periphery.

Abstract

This article attempts to answer the question of how an ethnographic survey transformed into a political question at the heart of the young Soviet Kirghizia. The debate centered on whether a class could be made out of the manaps, the tribal chieftains, utterly suspect in Soviet eyes. The article argues that by clothing the Soviet assault on the Central Asian traditional nomadic societies in the developmentalist Marxist rhetoric, the authorities justified the elimination of a social group – manaps – that they held accountable for the backwardness and unproductiveness of the nomadic economy. Thus, the “proper” categorization of manaps had deep consequences for the theoretical and ideological legitimacy of the Soviet project of socialist construction in the national periphery.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 69 (2015) > 3
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:23 Jan 2017 09:55
Last Modified:23 Jan 2017 09:55
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0004-4717
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2015-1005

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