AUTHORS: Zanca, Russell - ©2011
LIFE IN A MUSLIM UZBEK VILLAGE: COTTON FARMING AFTER COMMUNISM aims to 'identify and explain aspects of Uzbek cultural life in a farming village on a 'kolkhoz' (collective farm) that account for both cultural patterns and culture change. This case study depicts the cultural changes and continuities that have occurred as a result of Uzbekistan's recent political independence from the Soviet Union. It describes, from the author's own experience and understanding of Uzbek rural life, how the production and global exportation of cotton has brought new challenges and opportunities to contemporary Uzbek citizens. Students will see how vital cotton is to the modern Uzbek way of life as a means through which the people generate the bulk of their country's wealth (and, as a result, their own autocratic society). In light of their changing environs, the people of Uzbekistan have been forced to negotiate a new identity and culture for themselves in relation to their country, their continent, and the rest of the world.