First Advisor

Grant M. Farr

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Kyrgyzstan -- Ethnic relations



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 80 pages)


This thesis focuses on the interethnic relations between ethnic groups in Southern Kyrgyzstan using survey data collected from 500 students at Osh State University. This study examines the nature of attitudes of students and faculty regarding homogeneity, exclusionary attitudes, satisfaction with current living situation, and interethnic relations.

Research on interethnic conflict suggests that interethnic relations will depend on several variables, including the size and strength of the various ethnic groups, their political opportunities, their economic situation, and their communal ties. This line of research would suggest that the Kyrgyz would be in the strongest position among the ethnic groups in Southern Kyrgyzstan and would therefore have more exclusionary attitudes towards the other groups. Likewise, this thesis would suggest that the Uzbeks, ethnic Russians, and other smaller ethnic groups living in Southern Kyrgyzstan would have the weakest position, and therefore would see their position and their interaction with the other groups in a more desperate light.

This thesis found just the opposite. The conclusions drawn from the data used in this thesis show that the Uzbeks, not the Kyrgyz, are more likely to express exclusionary attitudes towards the other groups. In addition, the data show that the Uzbeks are the most ethnically homogeneous group and have the strongest communal ties. The Uzbeks are more likely than the other groups to favor endogamous marriage, to live in ethnically segregated neighborhoods, and in general to exhibit the characteristics and attitudes of the dominant group, even thought they are not the titular groups. The findings also suggest that the smaller ethnic groups like the ethnic Russians are the most dissatisfied with their present living situation and current interethnic relations.

These results show that the political changes in the former Soviet Union in the last decade, especially in this part of Central Asia, have resulted in changes in the ethnic landscape but do not suggest that the result will be violent interethnic conflict. Instead, there may be a continuation of emigration by smaller non-titular groups such as the ethnic Russians.


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