Tatars of Modern Tashkent: Ethnic Identity in the Context of Social Transformations
[Tatary sovremennogo Tashkenta: etnicheskaia identichnost’ v kontekste sotsial’nykh transformatsii]
Type of publication: Research Article
Tatars, Uzbekistan, migration, ethnic identity, mahalla, cultural distance
The article discusses the issue of ethnic identity of Tatars in Uzbekistan, and contemporary Tashkent in particular, which has not received sufficient attention in academic literature. We draw on the outcome of group interviews that we conducted among Tashkent’s Tatar families to seek answers to a range of questions, such as: What are the specificities and peculiarities of Tatar’s identification with Uzbekistan – both Soviet and post-Soviet? What are the content of, and changes in, the ethnic identity of Tatars who were born and socialized in the USSR and/or post-Soviet time? In what ways do their identities relate to official discourses, Soviet and post-Soviet? and others. We argue that there are four distinctive types of identity, the bearers of which differ in terms of their age group and period of socialization and living in Uzbekistan, and the principal markers of which may range from the Tatar language to the labor contribution made by Tatars to the development of the Soviet Uzbekistan. The important ethnic “Others” for Tatars during the Soviet period were the Russians, while during the post-Soviet period – the Uzbek, with whom some young Tatars begin to identify themselves. This is further facilitated not only by Uzbekistan’s domestic policies, but also by the traditional institute of mahalla, actively used in Tashkent in the 1990–2000s, as well as by a relatively close cultural distance between the Tatar and the Uzbek. Still, a number of Tatars continue to firmly adhere to the Tatar identity.
Gabdrakhmanova, G.F., and E.A. Sagdieva. 2019. Tatary sovremennogo Tashkenta: etnicheskaia identichnost’ v kontekste sotsial’nykh transformatsii [Tatars of Modern Tashkent: Ethnic Identity in the Context of Social Transformations]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 79-96. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150004181-9
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