Title

Troubled Relations: Mobility and Exchange in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 2012

Publication Source

Ethnology

Volume

49

Issue

3

Inclusive pages

167-184

Publisher

University of Pittsburgh

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Accounts of gift exchange and hospitality focus on how networks of obligation produce social solidarity. When gift exchange involves hostility and misunderstanding, it is still viewed as extending social relationships. This article describes exchange encounters that either index a lack of relationship (where one or both of the parties assumed one) or ended a relationship. Although each encounter is unique, all involve people who are mobile, coming from communities of varied positions within global hierarchies. These encounters challenge standard assumptions about the relationship between exchange and social cohesion, and offer insight into the complex ways people figure relatedness in a world increasingly characterized by blurred boundaries and economic polarization. (Gift exchange, hospitality, globalization, former Soviet Union, Central Asia)

Keywords

Former Soviet Union, Kyrgyz Republic, hospitality, economic behavior, globalization, conversion

Disciplines

Social and Cultural Anthropology | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies

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