Women of protest, men of applause : political activism, gender and tradition in Kyrgyzstan

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2019
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Kojobekova, Aijarkyn
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Central Asian Survey. 2019, 38(3), pp. 329-345. ISSN 0263-4937. eISSN 1465-3354. Available under: doi: 10.1080/02634937.2019.1631258
Zusammenfassung

Tradition has come to play an important role throughout Central Asia in a number of new ways since independence, but has been predominantly investigated regarding nation building. In this article, we show how tradition is being used operationally in the context of activism and political conflict. We expose the various motivations and tactics pursued by aksakals (lit., whitebeards) and by a movement of mature women called OBON (lit., Women Units for Special Purposes) as they participate in politics, and the role tradition plays in these activities. We argue that aksakals actively draw on tradition even in the political realm to avoid being derogatorily labelled ‘elders on duty’, whereas OBON women position themselves as economic and political actors but are subjected to discourses and practices of tradition by others. While both aksakals and OBON women have been central to political action in Kyrgyzstan in the last two decades, this article is the first to compare and contrast these two categories of unusual activists. The comparison reveals a perpetuation of culturally recognized gender roles even when these actors go beyond their ‘traditional’ realms of competence.

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300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
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Activism, politics, tradition, gender, elders, Kyrgyzstan
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ISO 690BEYER, Judith, Aijarkyn KOJOBEKOVA, 2019. Women of protest, men of applause : political activism, gender and tradition in Kyrgyzstan. In: Central Asian Survey. 2019, 38(3), pp. 329-345. ISSN 0263-4937. eISSN 1465-3354. Available under: doi: 10.1080/02634937.2019.1631258
BibTex
@article{Beyer2019-07-03Women-47166,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.1080/02634937.2019.1631258},
  title={Women of protest, men of applause : political activism, gender and tradition in Kyrgyzstan},
  number={3},
  volume={38},
  issn={0263-4937},
  journal={Central Asian Survey},
  pages={329--345},
  author={Beyer, Judith and Kojobekova, Aijarkyn}
}
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