Post-Soviet Demographic Paradoxes: Ethnic Differences in Marriage and Fertility in Kazakhstan

Topics: Family, Marriage, Minority group Pages: 6 (2005 words) Published: October 7, 2012
Course: Principles of Sociology

Critical Essay

“Post-Soviet Demographic Paradoxes:

Ethnic Differences in Marriage and Fertility in


Victor Agadjanian

Done by: Nussibaliyeva Gaukhar

Checked by: Nurseit Niyazbekov

Almaty, 2012

Critical essay: “Post-Soviet Demographic Paradoxes: Ethnic Differences in Marriage and Fertility in Kazakhstan”

The goal of this research is to analyze the minority group status hypothesis regarding specific stages of the family-building process for different kind of countries, but they had stopped on the Middle East and Central Asia. These countries has been considered by Agadjanian in 1999 years, Gore & Carlson in 2008. The hypothesis posits an interaction effect between ethnicity on the one hand and education or other measures of socioeconomic status on the other hand. And also they respect to the timing and intensity of each stage of the reproductive cycle – first marriage, first birth interval, second birth interval and so on and ultimately completed family size. This interaction between ethnicity and education can appear in one or both of two partial forms. First, disadvantaged minority groups within a society may exhibit earlier marriage, shorter birth intervals, and subsequent higher levels of fertility than the majority population. This higher fertility at the “bottom” of the society has been interpreted variously as the result of blocked alternate opportunities, or as persistence of a separate minority group subculture emphasizing pronatalist norms. Second, elites among such minority groups may exhibit later marriage, longer birth intervals, and subsequently lower levels of fertility than the majority population. This has been interpreted as status anxiety of these minority elites in the face of potential discrimination from the majority. The minority group status hypothesis was first developed with respect to race/ethnic identity within the United States but has subsequently been applied to a wide range of ethnic minorities within national populations in many parts of the world. With respect to Central Asia, Agadjanian has explored this hypothesis in Kazakhstan and concluded that patterns of childbearing there do not fit the hypothesis well. On the other hand, Gore and Carlson have recently demonstrated that the hypothesis describes marriage patterns of ethnic Kurds compared to the majority population in nearby Turkey extremely well, with both forms of the effect clearly identifiable. This paper uses evidence from the 1995 and 1999 Kazakh Demographic and Health Surveys to examine the timing of marriage for two distinctive groups within the population of Kazakhstan. We follow Agadjanian in combining ethnic Russians with other European groups and comparing them to the ethnic Kazakh population in the country, and also in excluding small ethnic splinter groups from other Central Asian countries (Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, etc) from the analysis[1]. We concentrate on marriage timing in order to most closely replicate the work of Gore and Carlson for Turkey, and also because Agadjanian has demonstrated that virtually all births in Kazakhstan for these samples of women occurred within and shortly after marriage. Since marriage thus constitutes a reliable marker for the timing of the first step along the path of reproduction, it makes sense to begin analysis at that point. Agadjanian (1999) has treated this issue of marriage timing in Kazakhstan in a previous article, but that analysis completed some years ago did not involve event history analysis, and also did not specifically examine the hypothesized interaction effect between education and ethnicity[2]. Kazakhstan uniquely raises an unusual theoretical issue about the minority group status hypothesis, because it is not immediately obvious which of the ethnic populations in the country should be regarded...
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