Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in Kyrgyzstan

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Premchand DOMMARAJU , Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singaore, Singapore
Victor AGADJANIAN , Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Post-Soviet Central Asia has witnessed massive changes in economic, political and social spheres, which in turn have influenced demographic behaviours in areas of marriage, fertility and migration.  Much of the research on changes in demographic behaviour has focussed on changes in fertility that is evident in all countries of Central Asia though the magnitude and direction of such changes varies by country. There has, however, been little research on various aspects of marriage—decision to marry or cohabit, type of marriage (arranged, forced, free-choice), age at marriage, spousal characteristics and homogamy, marital stability and remarriage—in the context of the rapid changes in Central Asia.

 This paper examines some aspects of marriage, with a focus on marital dissolution and remarriage, in Kyrgyzstan, a multi-ethnic Central Asian republic, using detailed marital history data from a nationally representative sample survey that interviewed about 2000 households in 2011-12. The paper has two main objectives. First, provide a detailed overview of the various aspects of marriage in Kyrgyzstan using quantitative data. Second, conduct an in-depth examination, using rigorous multivariate statistical procedures, of the changes and variations in entry into marriage, marital stability (divorce and separation) and remarriage. The analyses will pay particular attention to differences by gender, education and ethnicity (all three have shown to have important influence on other demographic behaviours). The findings will be contextualized within the socio-economic and political changes in Kyrgyzstan such as the revival of Islam and “traditional” practices, ideational changes, lack of significant economic growth, ethnic tensions and migration. The changes and variations will also be interpreted by drawing on the rich social and demographic literature on marriage and divorce from developing countries.