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Music and entertainment in post-Soviet Kazakhstan: ideology and legacy

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Title: Music and entertainment in post-Soviet Kazakhstan: ideology and legacy
Author(s): Adams, Margarethe A.
Director of Research: Buchanan, Donna A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Buchanan, Donna A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Turino, Thomas; Solis, Gabriel; Kaganovsky, Lilya
Department / Program: Music
Discipline: Musicology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Kazakhstan Soviet holidays music television entertainment
Abstract: “Music and Entertainment in Post-Soviet Kazakhstani Holidays: Ideology and Legacy” My dissertation examines the interplay between ideology and entertainment as reflected in the holiday cycle of post-Soviet Kazakhstan. During a two-year ethnographic study of holiday celebrations and expressive culture in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China between 2004 and 2006, I attended state-sponsored celebrations as well as holiday events at religious establishments, children’s daycares and schools, and observed the social, familial watching of televised holiday programs. I conducted the bulk of my fieldwork in Almaty, the cosmopolitan former capital of Kazakhstan, with shorter stints in Kazakh areas of China and Mongolia. National and transnational ideologies and networks are intricately involved in celebrations in Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstani diaspora. My work examines how the state navigates between Kazakh nationalism and multiethnic harmony, a precarious balance that President Nazarbev has thus far has maintained fairly well, and how this managing of diversity dovetails with other important large-scale ideologies like Islam and globalism. In particular, I observe the use of calendars, zodiacs and habits of celebration as tools and reflections of nation building. In Central Asian New Year (Nauryz), for example, I look at the state’s effort to strengthen Kazakh nationhood, on the one hand, and the adherence to alternate identities on the other. The cosmopolitan nature of Almaty, where I conducted the bulk of my research, is reflected in celebrations such as Purim in the Almaty synagogue and Easter in a Korean church, both of which involve complicated, transnational networks of funding and religious leadership. In dramatic, musical, and dance performances staged during these holidays, conflicting narratives from home and abroad bring to life the concurrent, overlapping ideologies at play in such celebrations. Because I wanted this study to look both forward and back, I examine how both Soviet legacy and post-Soviet developments (particularly transnational religious, diasporic and business networks) have informed nationality policy, holiday celebrations and public cultural formations. My work on Kazakhstani celebrations of May 9th (Victory Day, WWII) is particularly revealing of the lasting import of the Soviet legacy. Interviews reflect ambiguous and contrasting opinions on Kazakhstan’s involvement in WWII, and the ubiquitous May 9th performances of romantic Soviet war songs reveal lasting loyalty to and nostalgia for the Soviet past.
Issue Date: 2012-02-06
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/29804
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Margarethe A. Adams
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-02-06
Date Deposited: 2011-12
 

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