Kazakhstan is the largest country in central Asia, in terms of both land size and economy. Historically, Kazakhstan was a nomadic society with gender roles based on gendered division of labor. But throughout three centuries of colonial rule, first by Imperial Russia and then by the Soviet Union, Kazakh society and gender roles were transformed by various colonial policies. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, however, Kazakhstan was suddenly an independent country and was faced for the first time with creating a unique national identity and idea of what it means to be Kazakh. This has led the Kazakh government to adopt a policy of idealizing and revitalizing nomadic Kazakh culture, which has served to revive old, nomadic gender roles. Through content and discourse analysis of the mediascape of Almaty, Kazakhstan, I learned about the current gender roles as they are portrayed in Kazakh media and analyzed how those roles are connected to the Kazakh government’s policy of national identity building through the revival of ancient Kazakh nomadic norms.
Svetlana Peshkova, Nurseit Niyazbekov
Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire
O'Neil, Darby, "Media, Gender, and National Identity in Almaty, Kazakhstan" (2020). Inquiry Journal. 8.