Colonization and Changing Social Structure: Kazakhstan 1896-1910
This paper investigates how, under increasing land pressure during Russian settlement in Kazakh steppes in the late-XIXth century, family-based institutions and social structure of Kazakhs evolved to adapt to new economic conditions. Using a rich dataset constructed from Russian colonial expedition materials, we find that during the transition from nomadic pastoralism to a semi-sedentary pastoralist-agriculture system, the size of Kazakh extended families increased, those of communes and clans decreased, and that Kazakhs identified stronger with lower levels of genealogical clan system. Within families, property rights on land became more individualized, households became less likely to pool labor to farm, and wage labor contracts in agriculture became common. We discuss theoretical explanations for the observed patterns.
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