On some results of the expedition to the republic of Uzbekistan
G.F. Gabdrakhmanova, E.A. Sagdieva
In December 2016, employees of the Institute of History of Sh. Marjani of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan Gulnara Gabdrakhmanova and Elvina Sagdieva went on an expedition to the Republic of Uzbekistan. Its goal was to study the characteristics of the ethnic identity of the Tatars –the residents of Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital. Research work was conducted within the framework of qualitative sociology. The main method was biographical ("life stories"). The sample consisted of respondents representing different demographic groups (by sex and age) and living in different parts of the capital of Uzbekistan. As a result of analyzing the biographies, the types of ethnic identity of the studied group, as well as the content of its formation and development were revealed. The Tatar diaspora continues to be strong enough and united in the Republic of Uzbekistan, however, it suffered a significant reduction in number. This happened not only under the influence of Tatars’ mass emigration from the region, but, as the study showed, a certain part of them replaced their ethnic identity in favor of the Uzbek one. In the course of the analysis, it was possible to identify four types of ethnic identity of the Tatars – the inhabitants of Tashkent. Carriers of the first type are representatives of the Tatar diaspora’s elder generation, who spent most of their lives in the USSR. The second type is typical for those who have lived about half the life in the Soviet era, and the second half – in the period of Uzbekistan's independence. Representatives of the third and fourth groups were born and socialized in the 1990–2000's. At the time of the study the carriers of the third type expressed the Tatar identity, but this actualization has occurred in recent years and is essentially "returnable". The fourth type has practically lost their ethnic (Tatar) identity, or it is nominal, although its representatives still know and remember about their "Tatar roots". Both types are examples of "shifting ethnic identity," the change of which occurs under the influence of subjective and objective factors. Another important identity of the respondents is religious one. Everyone without exception called themselves Muslims. Religious practices are reduced to visiting a mosque by men during the holy Muslim holidays (Uraza Bairam, Kurban Bairam) and in observance of the life cycle rites. All those born in Uzbekistan call the republic their homeland, treat it with respect and with gratitude. It is noted that the Uzbek and Tatar people have lived together for several centuries in Uzbekistan, respecting each other's culture. Most of the participants in the study do not forget about their ethnicity, they try to observe the Tatar customs and rites and instill them in their children. An important way to preserve "Tatar" in Tashkent are cultural events held by the "Tatar Public Cultural and Educational Center."
Keywords: biographical method, ethnic identity, Tatar diaspora, Tatar mahalla, Tatars of Uzbekistan
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About the authors:
Gulnara F. Gabdrakhmanova is a Doctor of Science (Sociology), Head of the Department of Ethnological Research, Sh.Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciencess (7, Baturin Str., Kazan 420111, Russian Federation); firstname.lastname@example.org
Elvina A. Sagdieva is a Candidate of Science (Sociology), Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ethnological Research, Sh.Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciencess (7, Baturin Str., Kazan 420111, Russian Federation); email@example.com
Received 23.03.2017 Accepted for publication 04.06.2017
Published Online 17.11.2017