Family identity and honor were important motivations for Central Asian Muslims in the Soviet era. This ethnographic case study describes how honor and family identity affected the educational and career choices of Akhmetolla, an imam in northern Kazakhstan whose career started in the late Soviet era and stretched into the 2000s. Akhmetolla is a Qozha: a person descended from Islamically significant figures, such as the Prophet Muhammad or Sufi masters. Qozhas expect honor and respect from Kazakhs, but this comes with expectations of piety and Islamic learning for themselves and their children. We show how Akhmetolla attempted to live with the demands of Qozha identity and honor, and how he navigated Soviet bureaucracies to meet these demands.
|Number of pages||29|
|Journal||Journal of Central Asian History|
|Publication status||In preparation - 2022|