Islam, Gender and Education in Kazakhstan (Central Asia) Essay Sample

Islam. Gender and Education in Kazakhstan Nazgul Mingisheva ( Karaganda Bolashak University. Kazakhstan ) [ electronic mail protected ]Paper presented at the ASN World Convention Columbia University. April 19-21 2012 Please make non mention without the author’s permission © Nazgul Mingisheva Abstract My paper is focused on the preliminary consequences and hypothesis of my research on Islam. gender and instruction in present-days Kazakhstan. The research intent is to detect some relationships between dynamically developed Islam and present gender dealingss. in peculiar. among immature people. The Kazakh functionaries started to construct the construct of traditional Islam in the last old ages. I would research how the governmental discourse about apprehension of Islam forms immature people’s discourse. In add-on. I consider some attitudes of immature male and female about household. instruction. work. public. and spiritual values. The basic research method is unfastened interview with senior male and female pupils who identify themselves as Muslims and represent gender inequality in their discourses. My fieldwork consists of observations for last two old ages and interviews completed from October to December of 2011 in Karaganda metropolis in Central Kazakhstan.


After the extremist onslaughts in Western and Southern Kazakhstan in October and November of 2011 and the governmental declaration to plan the construct of the traditional ( moderate ) Islam in Kazakhstan it is the clip to rethink and re-interpret societal procedures through spiritual. powerful. and gender dealingss to better understand how Islam and governments could determine gender discourses in present-days Kazakhstan. I would say that immature people represent how gender attitudes are changed and constructed under spiritual and power discourses. The object of my research is immature work forces and adult females who identify themselves as Muslims and survey at universities in Kazakhstan. For recent old ages a figure of such pupils are turning. It is apparent when these pupils. primary male. inquire a particular alibi from teachers to travel to Mosque for Friday supplications. The chief research inquiries of my paper are the undermentioned: Why immature people turn to Islam. and how do they analyze Islam? How are societal and household values of 1 immature coevals changed under Islam? What is a higher instruction for immature work forces and adult females? Do Islamic establishments influence on emerging of gender inequality among young person?

I conducted my fieldwork in 2010-2011 observing Muslim pupils at the university and taking open-end interviews of senior male and female pupils in autumn of 2011. The names of the pupils are anon. . My research carried out in Karaganda metropolis of Central Kazakhstan. Theoretical approaches Although the procedure of institutionalization of Islam in Kazakhstan takes the period from 1990 to the present. the construct of traditional Islam edifice emerged merely in recent old ages. For Kazakhstan’s authorities the traditional Islam means moderate that could be explained by laterality of Hanafi Sunni among Muslim population in the state. After comparatively peaceable in comparison with the remainder Central Asian states of 20 old ages of Islamic establishments development. Kazakhstan impacted with different displaying of radical activities in Western and Southern Kazakhstan from July to November in 2011.

In my head. the Kazakh governments have to fix and beef up their attempts to construct the thought of traditional Islam in the state during last twelvemonth after these events which led to several victims and injured people. What is the traditional Islam? Is it possible to construct the construct of traditional Islam in Kazakhstan? Is the thought of traditional Islam as some effort to oppose moderate Islam to Islamic diverseness and. peculiarly. to Salafi communities in Kazakhstan? How does this moderate Islam form gender relationships in present-days Kazakhstan? What is about the class of tradition. I would wish to see some different facets of it below. “Tradition may besides be understood along the lines of what Foucault calls a “discursive formation” . a field of statements and patterns whose construction of possibility is neither the person. nor a corporate organic structure of oversees. but a signifier of relation between the past and present predicated upon a system of regulations that demarcate both the bounds and the possibility of what is sayable. accomplishable. and recognizable as a comprehensive event in all its manifest forms” ( Mahmood. 2005:114-115 ) .

Harmonizing to Mahmood. Asad developed the Foucault’s definition of tradition to the followers: “… Asad’s preparation of tradition draws attending both to micropractices of interpersonal teaching method. through which the truth of a peculiar dianoetic pattern is established. and to the macrolevel of historically sedimented discourses. which determine the possibility of what is problematic. enunciable. and accomplishable in the present” ( Mahmood. 2005:115 ) . In the other words. Asad represents a tradition as a mutable societal institute which has two degrees. micro and macro that are helpful for a tradition to accommodate to the present. Another point about tradition: “All traditions are created … through shared pattern. and they can be deeply and consciously modified and manipulated under the pretense of a return to a more legitimate earlier practice” and: “… the procedure of making tradition is both witting and expressed. and unconscious and implicit” ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996:28-29 ) . It can be told that “tradition is a elusive and elastic concept” ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996:37 ) .

2 Thereby a tradition leads to the procedure of objectification of faith with the following basic inquiries of trusters: “What is my faith? ” . “Why is it of import to my life? ” . and “How make my beliefs steer my behavior? ” ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996:38 ) . For objectification of Muslim consciousness it is of import the canonical beginnings ( the Quran. the Hadith. and jural commentaries ) ( Asad. 1986 ) and catechisms ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996 ) . Mass instruction. mass higher instruction. and aggregate communicating are besides of import for all modern universe faiths ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996 ) . It can be told that instruction and new readings help to alter and overhaul a tradition under the context of power: “They [ modern mass communicating. higher instruction. and printing ] do … by transforming spiritual beliefs into a witting system. broadening the range of spiritual authorization. and redrawing the boundaries of political community” ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996:41-42 ) .

Therefore. the spiritual tradition and its objectification would make power discourse. Harmonizing to Foucault. “… power is to be understood as a strategic relation of force that permeates life and is productive of new signifiers of desires. objects. dealingss. and discourses. Second. the capable … does non predate power dealingss. in the signifier of an individuated consciousness. but is produced through these dealingss. which form the necessary conditions of its possibility” ( Mahmood. 2005:17 ) . In my head. Foucault gave the most of import reading about power and the topic when the topic and the object are non merely shaped by power discourses but besides both reproduce power in their attitudes that result the subordination in these dealingss ( Mahmood. 2005 ) . I would say that gender and gender dealingss could corroborate. explain. green goods and reproduce power and societal alterations. Gender is an interactive class. it is socially constructed. and ineluctable in mundane life: “… the ‘doing’ gender is undertaken by adult females and work forces whose competency as members of society is hostage to its production. Making gender involves a composite of socially guided perceptual. interactive. and micropolitical activities that cast peculiar chase as looks of masculine and feminine ‘natures’” ( West & A ; Zimmerman. 1987:126 ) .

Making gender is ineluctable “… because of the societal effects of sex-category rank: the allotment of power and resources non merely in the domestic. economic. and political spheres but besides in the wide sphere of interpersonal relations” ( West & A ; Zimmerman. 1987:145 ) . It is necessary to observe about Goffman’s reading of making gender and bring forthing laterality and difference: “… in making gender. work forces are besides making laterality and adult females are making difference. the attendant societal order. which purportedly reflect ‘natural differences’ . is a powerful reinforce and legitimator of hierarchal arrangements” ( West & A ; Zimmerman. 1987:146 ) . In the amount. tradition could be considered as the power discourse and it besides could act upon on gender dealingss. Simultaneously. it is of import to observe that tradition is mutable and flexible construct. Most likely. tradition and the procedure of objectification of Muslim consciousness could be developed and changed non merely under different shared societal patterns but besides with kineticss of gender dealingss. So traditional Islam is non a stable and lasting system. it is the consequence of interaction of two degrees: macropolitical which is historically legitimized ( the yesteryear ) and micropolitical where gender. for my head. is of import and responsible for the present and future.

3 In my sentiment. gender relationships are mapped by power discourse and. in the same clip. they could diverse this dominant discourse. My initial fieldwork on Islam. gender and instruction in Kazakhstan would show these preliminary statements. Research survey I started my fieldwork in 2010 with observing of some pupils who identify themselves as Muslims. For my initial research I chose two pupils ( male and female ) who study on senior class at the university. These two pupils are some theoretical accounts and representations of gender dealingss. They are besides senior pupils who graduate university and are traveling to work. It is of import for me to compare their spiritual. household. and societal values. The primary method of my research is open-end interviews which I conducted in different times and state of affairss in October-November of 2011. Both pupil names are anon. . The research was transporting out in Karaganda metropolis of Central Kazakhstan. In general. I would wish to observe that the male discourse contains much more Muslim nomenclatures than the female 1. Under Muslim nomenclatures I imply. for case. “Islam” . “the Quran” . “the Prophet” . “Mosque” . “the Judgment Day” . “Imam” . “Prayer” . and others.

To compare. during the interviews the immature adult male used 46 Muslim classs. when the immature adult females used merely six 1s. It could be explained that he goes to Mosque every bit good for supplications and communicating with other trusters as for Islamic analyzing which characterized with memorizing and repeat of Islamic cognition ( Boyle. 2006 ) what represents in his discourse. Besides. I would wish to depict antecedently that the male discourse in this research is more public so the female one which I would specify as private. My interview inquiries have three parts: 1. Basic grounds of a immature adult male and adult female to turn and analyze Islam ; 2. Family and societal values of immature Muslim coevals ; and 3. Significance of instruction and higher instruction for these immature individuals. Why immature people turn to Islam? In this portion of the interviews I focused on grounds ( why they turn to Islam ) . continuance ( how long they interested with Islam ) . and analyzing of Islam ( what beginnings they use in their perusal ) by the immature adult male and adult females.

Nurlan: First clip I went to Friday supplication at school in 2006. From that clip I did non lose Friday supplications. From the 2nd class at the university I started to pray five times a twenty-four hours. Cipher made me travel to Mosque… I think my uneasiness led me to the Mosque… I saw people who went to the Mosque and I wanted to travel at that place excessively. To analyze Islam I use books. Internet. newspapers. diaries. and Television but go toing at sermon is the best for me. It could be told that he represents the public discourse. I would construe this male narrative as apprehension of the Mosque as a topographic point of Friday supplications and analyzing of Islam. It would be possible to see Islamic establishments as a public infinite of Muslims’ communicating 4 in this state of affairs. It is necessary to observe that his religion moved from endeavoring of “clear Islam” ( or Salafism ) to the thought of traditional Islam during last two old ages. The immature adult female gave some different reply: Dinara: I am interested with Islam 18 months ago. My male parent invoked my involvement to Islam when he turned to Islam himself and talked me a batch about it. I use books and Internet in the perusal of Islam.

It is of import to observe that she does non place herself as Hanafi Sunni ( the Muslim bulk in Kazakhstan ) like her male parent who influenced her to turn to Islam. She is analyzing different Islamic tendencies. and the short clip she was a member of the Muslim community ‘Ahlus Sunnah Jamaah’ . This difference could be explained with linguistic communication policy in Mosques where supplications are in Kazakh. Dinara does non talk Kazakh every bit good as her male parent. She does non back up her male parent who goes to Mosque and does non understand supplications in Kazakh. As a consequence she looks for other chances to analyze Islam. In her sentiment. immature people in Kazakhstan have the same state of affairs and impact with different Islamic religious orders which have the flexible linguistic communication policy. She left the Ahlus Sunnah Jamaah because person from the community did non let her to see intelligence about Islam in the Internet and read a book about Islam with Turkish beginnings. In add-on. when Dinara turned to Islam. she started to have on hijab and from those times she is under great force per unit area. peculiarly. she is oppressed by university disposal and security services.

From my prospective. the work forces in these two instances ( in the Nurlan’s and Dinara’s replies ) represent Islam as a public topographic point where they portion and support power discourses ( governmental and spiritual ) even though one of them does non talk Kazakh to understand supplications in Mosque. Dinara’s father as an agent of power discourse influenced on his girl but she moved from official to alternate versions of Islam. It could be told that the work forces do laterality and the adult female does difference ( Goffman. 1967 ; West & A ; Zimmerman. 1987 ) in the pattern and survey of Islam in present-days Kazakhstan. What are household and societal values of immature Muslims? This portion of the interview gives many similarities in the readings of male and female pupils about household. work. household functions. and societal precedences in their lives. Most likely. both immature adult male and adult female understand household values harmonizing to the Quran. the Sunnah. and Hadith. Sing household and functions of a married woman and hubby. they separate public and private in their interviews and show the phenomenon of gender inequality.

The inquiries are the undermentioned: What is the significance of a household. and what is of import for making of the household? When would be better to get married? How many kids would you like to hold? What responsibilities for a hubby and married woman? Could the married woman work? What are your life precedences? Nurlan: Islam is really of import for me. so I think it is necessary to hold need cognition before making a household. In my sentiment. holding the household demands some readying. peculiarly. spiritually. … I think a spiritually developed adult male becomes adult early. so he can get married when he 5 is 20-21 old ages old. I would hold five or more kids ( smiling ) . Muslim household should hold many kids. A hubby must supply his household. A married woman has the right to demand supplying from her hubby. The chief duties of the married woman are kids and family. it is good known for all. Besides she must happen contentment for her hubby. … I suppose the married woman has the right to work. but she can non work at all. Islam does non necessitate working for married adult females. But I think that my married woman will be working. It would be better ( smiling ) . My programs now are to graduate the university and happen a occupation. Then I am traveling to get married. of class.

I do non desire to detain with it ( smile ) . *** Dinara: I think a adult male and adult female need to esteem and understand each other before their matrimony. Besides they need to recognize their duty for future family… and love is really of import excessively. In my sentiment. the best age for the matrimony is 22-26 old ages old. I would hold three-four kids. A hubby must supply his married woman and kids with all that they need. He should esteem. understand and aid to his married woman. Besides he must listen to her opinion… he should let his married woman to work. I think. And he should pay more attending for his kids and married woman. … The married woman must esteem his hubby. A adult female is lower on one phase than a adult male. it is necessary to retrieve. but she can hold her ain sentiment. Family must be the most of import for the adult female because it is the foundation for her household. The married woman must foster her kids and expression for them.

The married woman must happen contentment for her hubby. it confirms her deference. I think I will be working after my matrimony till birth of a kid. What about my hereafter plans … I am traveling to have the sheepskin. happen a occupation and program to acquire marry in the close clip. Family is really of import for me. It could be concluded from these replies that the household values are characterized otherwise for the immature adult male and adult female. Male discourse represents some cognitive ( knowing. rational ) facets of household values and female one is more emotional ( love. deference. apprehension. etc. ) . The remainder ideas of immature individuals are similar about early matrimony. many kids. household functions and duties. and life penchants. It is necessary to observe that female discourse already represents gender inequality ( a adult female is lower on one phase than a adult male ) in her address. In add-on. both male and female demonstrate that private domain ( household ) is the basic precedence for the married adult female. It could be inferred that Islam change household values of immature coevals and influence on emerging of gender inequality. What is the significance of higher instruction for young person?

It is the short portion of the interviews and consists of two inquiries: Is higher instruction of import for you? Is it necessary to hold higher instruction for your future married woman? 6 Nurlan: If a adult male is spiritual it does non intend that he ( or she ) denies all profane. For me. instruction and higher instruction are really of import. The modern times require holding higher instruction. Besides I need to fulfill the hope of my parents. And I think that higher instruction is of import for my perspective married woman. Dinara did besides hold that higher instruction is necessary every bit good for adult females as work forces. She told that she met some immature Muslim adult females who did non desire to analyze after acquiring matrimony. Sometimes immature Muslim work forces have different attitudes to higher instruction for their married womans. But she is certain that instruction is necessary for her and her future hubby. It could be implied from her words that instruction aids people in the procedure of socialisation. and knowing female parent is really good for her kids. In my head. educational establishments could equilibrate successfully between governmental and spiritual power discourses to take down some societal denseness.

From this position. it would be possible to see instruction as a beginning of possible secularisation and moderateness of a spiritual society. Some comparings with Islam in Europe To better understand the present procedures with increasing of Islam and altering of gender dealingss in Kazakhstan. I would wish to do two comparings with some similar state of affairss in Bulgaria ( Ghodsee. 2010 ) and in England ( Shain. 2011 ) 1. Ghodsee researched Muslim minority in postsocialist Bulgaria. and Shain’s fieldwork was on immature Muslims in England. Ghodsee was carry oning her fieldwork from 2005 to 2008 and researched Muslim minorities in different topographic points of Bulgaria where Islam increased after Soviet prostration. The specific focal point of her research is metropolis Madan with Muslim community of the Pomaks. After falling of communist government. the population ( including Muslims ) of this little industrial metropolis impacted with terrible economic crisis. unemployment. corruptness. and lifting of offense.

It can be told that Islam replaced individuality of Muslim community in Madan and reshaped gender dealingss from mining maleness to religious one for work forces and from Soviet emancipation to private domain for adult females: “Islam could be one of many new discourses runing in the postcommunist context that holds out the possibility for a return to collectivist ideals and the vision of a morally and ethically united community endeavoring for common stuff and religious goals” ( Ghodsee. 2010:200 ) . It would be possible to see Islam in Bulgaria as some transmutation of atheist communist thoughts to spiritual 1s. Shain researched 24 Muslim male childs between 12 and 18 old ages of working category in the metropolis of Oldwych ( West Midlands of England ) from May 2002 to October 2003. She considers political and societal individuality of immature Muslim work forces utilizing the method of 1 These comparings are possible due to the audience and recommendations of Professor Beth Goldstein whose category on Comparative Education I took in the spring semester of 2011 at the University of Kentucky. 7 intersectionality of race. category. faith. and gender.

This attack lets to analyze alterations of subjectivity in local. societal and historical contexts. Shain pointed about stigmatisation of Muslim communities and immature Muslims in England. peculiarly. after suicide bombers in 2005. Young Muslims have to put to cultural capital because of deficiencies in economic chances. so their Muslim individuality is increased. In this instance the male gender individuality is besides changed: “… malenesss are … constructed in relation to boys’ classed locations ( chance of unemployment ) . patriarchate ( laterality over adult females ) and racism ( Islamophobia in policy and media discourses and anti-Muslim racism on the land ) ” ( Shain. 2011:144 ) . Summarizing and comparing these two fieldworks with present Kazakhstan. it could be told. that Soviet prostration and utmost economic and societal crisis led to distributing of different spiritual establishments including Islamic 1s in peculiar. It would be possible to see Islam as ‘way of life’ among Muslim population in Kazakhstan ( Omelicheva. 2011 ) . as the new ethic option for mundane life. Simultaneously. after radical onslaughts in Western and Southern Kazakhstan in October November of 2011. it could be possible to state that Muslims started to be oppressed and stigmatized in political ( spiritual ( implied Islamic ) parties are prohibited ) and societal ( Muslims can non function in the ground forces. limitations with hijabs and in some educational establishments ) domains in present-days Kazakhstan.

The new jurisprudence about spiritual activities and spiritual associations is discussable and arguable non merely by some radical Islamic groups but besides by many Muslim communities which considered as the major Hanafi Sunni in Kazakhstan. Young Muslims are besides oppressed. and they attitude to the current state of affairs as to the trial which would be overcame. Decision In my decisions I would wish to give some replies to above inquiries. In my head. most likely. it is possible to build the construct of traditional ( moderate ) Islam in Kazakhstan. I would wish to presume that the thought of traditional Islam already emerges in societal and communicating discourses and. for illustration. in the architecture of new Mosques in the state. But it is necessary to cognize that tradition is non massive and stable phenomenon that can determine a society ; it could be changed under interactions of different single. group. of societal relationships along clip. In add-on. it would be possible to state that objectification of Muslim consciousness ( Eickelman & A ; Piscatori. 1996 ) is in the procedure in Kazakhstan due to mass communicating and instruction.

Now it is more than obvious that Islamic establishments influence and alteration individuality and gender dealingss of immature people in Kazakhstan. Through my little fieldwork I would wish to observe that gender inequality is constructed due to Islam where I could show some distinctions between masculine ( public ) and feminine ( private ) discourses. For work forces Islam is represented as a public infinite where they can pass on with other trusters and where they can analyze Islam. Young adult females show private discourse where household. kids. and family are primary values for them. 8 In the terminal I would hold that governments could arouse radicalization of Muslim groups in Kazakhstan ( Omelicheva. 2011 ) with subjugation and limitations over trusters in many societal facets. In my sentiment. instruction and higher instruction. peculiarly for Muslim misss and adult females. are the most of import tool to smooth and cut down possible force in gender dealingss and besides to chair Islam in Kazakhstan in the present and future. In add-on. for perspective researches it would be better to utilize the intersection method to analyze societal alterations under ethnicity ( or race ) . category. gender. and faith.

This method would allow to encompass some of import facets of mundane life for analyses and comparings of different alterations in societal procedures of post-Soviet states. Recognitions I would wish to thank a batch to the Professors of the University of Kentucky: Dr. Alan J. DeYoung. Dr. Beth Goldstein. and Dr. Karen Tice who encourage and confer with me with analyzing gender. comparative and planetary instruction theories for my research in Kazakhstan. Besides I would wish to thank Dr. Alexander Knysh from the University of Michigan and Dr. Morgan Liu from the Ohio State University who enriched my research and interview inquiries with utile add-ons on Islamic surveies. And particular thanks to the Faculty Development Fellowship Program of Open Society Institute which supported my scholarship at Education Policy Studies and Evaluation Department in the University of Kentucky and my engagement at the ASN Convention of 2012.


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