CASI Student Research Seminar
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CASI Student Research Seminar

March 12, 2015


March 12, 2015

1. Relations of culture and ideology: State affiliated cultural elites of Dushanbe and their activities

Presenter: Davlatbegim Mamadshoeva, Senior, Department of Sociology

2. Blessing or punishment? Women and divorce in Tajikistan

Presenter: Gulnigor Tilloeva, Senior, Department of Sociology

Abstracts:

Relations of culture and ideology: State affiliated cultural elites of Dushanbe and their activities

The current research is attempting to problematize the issue of interplay between culture and ideology. Namely, this project aims to understand the relationship between the dominant ideology of Tajikistan and representatives of state employed cultural elites.

Therefore, the main question of the study is: How are the representatives of the cultural elites (state employed) of Dushanbe and their products interacting with the dominant ideology of Tajikistan? Are they ignoring/reproducing/opposing/creating ideological messages and how is it all being done?
It is important to study the nature of the relationship between culture and ideology because it provides another insight into the way authoritative states can maintain their power and foster compliance with the status quo by ‘soft’/’invisible’ means.

The presentation will also attempt to refer to some part of vast academic knowledge on the above mentioned topic, address some methodological issues as well as cover the section of preliminary findings which is based on the results of 6 interviews with representatives of cultural elites during the fieldwork in Dushanbe.

Blessing or punishment? Women and divorce in Tajikistan

My current research looks at divorce as both a blessing and punishment for young divorced women and those in the process of divorce in the rural Ishkashim district of Tajikistan. Apart from this, the study examines why the divorce rate has dramatically increased in the rural Ishkashim district of Tajikistan and what factors have contributed to it. The larger question that informed the research was “Are women leaving violent relationships considering divorce as a blessing or punishment?” Based on qualitative research methods, semi structured in-depth interviews were taken from 6 divorced women and 4 from those in the process of divorce in December 2014 – January 2015 in the Ishkashim district in order to know women’s life experience before and after divorce. The interview questions were the same for both divorced women and those in the process of divorce. In addition to the semi structured interview questions women in the process of divorce were asked, “What can save their marriage?” A focus group discussion was held among representatives of the local government, representative from the women and family affairs committee, representatives from the court and vital records office in order to understand the increasing divorce rate in the rural Ishkashim district during the last 4 years. The presentation will discuss previous research conducted on divorce by other scholars as well as the significance and its differences from others. It will cover the theoretical framework, methodology and preliminary findings based on the results of 10 in-depth interviews with divorced women and those in the process of divorce and a focus group with the representatives from the abovementioned offices.

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