Author-Critic Forum: Nazarbayev Generation 
Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University)
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Room B12
Sunday 13 October, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Long Abstract

Half of Kazakhstan's population was born after Nazarbayev took power three decades ago: those aged under 29 comprise 9 million Kazakhstani citizens, or 51 percent of the population. They have no direct memory of the Soviet regime, only family recollections, though many of them do recall their parents' struggles in the difficult first decade of the country's independence. Since the early 2000s, they have lived in a world of political stability and relative material affluence, developing a strong consumerist culture. Even with growing government restrictions on media, religion, and formal public expression, they have been raised in a comparatively free country. Who are they? What do they think and wish? What are their social and cultural practices and behaviors? How do they see the world and Kazakhstan's place in it? This book offers the first collective study of the "Nazarbayev Generation." It aims to move away from these clich├ęs, illuminating the diversity of the country's younger generations and the genuine transformations of social and cultural norms that have taken place over the course of three decades. The book also moves away from state-centric, top-down perspectives to give the floor to grassroots realities and bottom-up dynamics and better integrate sociological data into our knowledge.

Accepted papers: