517.4 Youth in Kyrgyzstan - structures, orientations, tensions

Friday, August 3, 2012: 12:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Distributed Paper
Doris BUEHLER-NIEDERBERGER , Department of Education and Social Science, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
Jessica SCHWITTEK , Department of Education and Social Science, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
With this paper we aim to discuss the design of a recently initiated research project on youth in Kyrgyzstan as well as the underlying assumptions derived from preparatory fieldwork.
The project called „Transitions into adulthood in Kyrgyzstan and their potential for generating tension – strategies, orientations, social rules and limited opportunities” was triggered by the June events of the year 2010 in which ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks engaged in a bloody outbreak of violence which cost 2000 people their lives. These ethnic clashes were mainly acted out by young men. Nevertheless, our research doesn’t focus so much on the „ethnicity“ of this conflict but aimes at analyzing the life situation of the young actors conducive to such destructive activity. This led us to a research design focusing on young people’s conditions (including amongst others financial resources, labour market conditions, familial expectations, social capital) and their ways of coping with these conditions, their strategies and orientations to „work out“ present decisions and a future perspective. We aim to identify certain problematic constellations of conditions and strategies/orientations which are likely to foster deviant behavior, and we wish to analyse how social inequality is (re)produced in this transitory society. From our preliminary field work phase, we derived several assumptions concerning these problematic conditions we would like to present as well. These include the high diversification of the educational system, expectations that are held towards young people by the family collective contradicted by a shortage of resources, and life planning strategies of the young actors trying to manage all of the above.