Women and religious practices in Uzbekistan: transformation and changes in the capital of Uzbekistan in the light of the post-Soviet period

Anvar, Matluba (2015) Women and religious practices in Uzbekistan: transformation and changes in the capital of Uzbekistan in the light of the post-Soviet period. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis is an anthropological study of Uzbek women’s everyday life and religious rituals, focusing on the experience and transformation of women’s religious and ritual lives in the capital Tashkent, after Soviet rule lasting seventy-three years ended in 1991. The research was conducted over four years, covering English, Russian, and Uzbek language literature, periodical press, archive materials, and oral histories of women who experienced the challenges of the Soviet system and the social changes of the period since independence in 1991. A large body of literature has been written about women’s ritual life in Islam, but relatively little about Uzbek women’s ritual life within Islam since independence. This thesis introduces an ethnographic contribution to the literature by investigating Uzbek women’s everyday life since independence.

This thesis will lay out the historical background to the changes in the government of Uzbekistan between 1991 and 2011, in particular the transition from Soviet to independent rule. It will then examine the particular impact this change in government had on women’s religious and ritual life, by comparing data gathered before and after the transition. The existing body of literature on women’s ritual life will be critically assessed in relation to the particular findings of women’s experience in Tashkent, and differences and similarities will be discussed.

The thesis argues that religious rituals and the everyday life of Uzbek women change continuously because of the influence of social forces and institutions. The ritual and everyday life of women has adapted to historical circumstance and political systems. Women’s rituals are controlled and partly constructed by the state and religious institutions for the purpose of national identity-building, ideological legitimation, and controlling women’s everyday lives.

In the following study, I argue that women have incorporated change and transformation into their everyday (ritual and religious) lives, thus revealing their agency and self-expression as they navigate the social and gender realities of twenty-first century Uzbekistan.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN451 Intellectual life Including communication, recreation, philosophy, religion, knowledge, etc.
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2015 10:04
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2018 09:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58087

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