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Chapter Summary

Political lenses often distort and refract social concepts and their significance in a variety of ways. Public debates on particular issues often make them seem more prevalent than they may be. For example, 'tribalism' is often regarded as an enduring feature of social life, framing politics and social interaction. Western views of kinship have largely been based on evolutionary notions of social complexity. Descriptions of kinship links combined with theories on social order have established the logic behind 'tribal' political alliances and the reason for the collapse of the Akaev government. The genealogical imagination plays a role in developing relations with family and distant relatives, but coping strategies are grounded in close friends and family networks, rather than on uruu or uruk connections. The parallel construction of complementary notions of genealogy between individual perspectives and government rhetoric acted as a form of governmentality.

Keywords: Akaev government; genealogy; kinship; tribalism; uruk; uruu



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