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'Don't Kill Me, I'm a Kyrgyz!': An Anthropological Analysis of Violence in the Osh Ethnic Conflict

Valery Tishkov
Journal of Peace Research
Vol. 32, No. 2 (May, 1995), pp. 133-149
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/425063
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
'Don't Kill Me, I'm a Kyrgyz!': An Anthropological Analysis of Violence in the Osh Ethnic Conflict
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Abstract

The summer 1990 Kyrgyz-Uzbek ethnic violence in former Soviet Central Asia is studied using microlevel socio-anthropological analysis of the texts of the criminal court's sentences as the major source material. Ethnic violence is examined in terms of space, time, the actors, the motives and the forms of manifestation. Some general conclusions are drawn and some Soviet and Central Asian specifics are established. Rumours and myths based on socially constructed perceptions and on informational simplicity, as well as a situation of group social paranoia, were found to be key elements in precipitating ethnic violence. These findings suggest the reconsideration of existing ontological and positivistic interpretations.

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