Title

Kidnapping Women: Discourses of Emotion and Social Change in the Kyrgyz Republic

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2012

Publication Source

Anthropological Quarterly

Volume

85

Issue

1

Inclusive pages

141-169

Publisher

The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

In 1974, Anthropological Quarterly published a special issue on bride theft. Since then, considerable work has been published on the practice. Drawing on my fieldwork in the Kyrgyz Republic, I assess current understandings of the practice. I argue that although functionalist and symbolic approaches to kidnapping are still relevant, it is necessary to consider kidnapping in the context of intensifying discursive competition over marriage, gender roles, and authority. In my account, kidnapping is a practice that both supports and undermines existing systems of oppression. As such, it has become a powerful engine of social change.

Keywords

Former Soviet Union, Kyrgyz Republic, marriage, love, women, family lopment

Disciplines

Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies | Women's Studies

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