Blood on the Stepepes

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Name: Sayed Khalilullah Anwari
ID # 8836
Proff: Dr. Carol Prindle
Cultural Anthropology

Blood on the Steppes: Ethnicity, Power, and Conflict
In this article written by Weatherford, the form and use of ethnic identity is the core focus and further elaborations has been provided on roles of various factors in shaping ethnic identities such as, religion, economics, politics and so forth. Weatherford has also discussed the various usages that ethnic identities may have: Men in pursuit of their own vested interests have used ethnic identities as a means to reach their goals and interests such as wealth, fame and even sexual indulgence. The study was done on Central Asian countries, mostly those which were in the eastern bloc, it is argued that most of the ethnic groups living in this region were under scrutiny by soviet authorities and after its collapse, various groups adopted different mechanisms to cope with the gap of identity that was apparent at that time. “He concludes that whereas the twentieth century was the age of groups united by ideology, the twenty- first may well be ruled by ethnicity.” The target countries due to the periphery role they played under the autocratic regime of Soviet, under apparent social and cultural oppression had lost their sense of ethnic identity and after Soviet withdrawal many groups adopted and returned to their ethnic history to build their new states. For instance, in Uzbekistan attempts were made to create a nationalism centered on the famous historical figure, Tamerlane. Furthermore, enforcement of a pan-Uzbek identity was one of the main tools to reach this end, some Jews and Armenians who had lived in that territory for a long period of time were obliged to flee. However the reformation of identity in Turkmenistan was different, the president saw the revival of Turkmen in forming a perspective deeply embedded on Stalinist tribalism in order to establish a national ethnic identity. To this end he asserted a lot...
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