Date of Award

Summer 1982

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Patrick Rollins

Committee Member

Carl Boyd

Committee Member

Philip S. Siltette

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47S23


The primary purpose of this study is to survey specific manifestations of Kazakh nationalism in the Gorbachev era and ask what provoked a seemingly cooperative people to exert their nationalist sentiment. The two principal forms examined are the passage of the Kazakh Language Law in 1989, and the emergence of informal groups and alternative political parties in Kazakhstan.

The nationalism that was expressed by Kazakhs in the Gorbachev era was a resumption of the nationalism that was suspended or suppressed during seventy years of Soviet rule. The December 1986 demonstration in Alma-Ata irreparably altered ethnic relations in the republic and had repercussions that directly influenced the implementation of perestroika, glasnost, and democratization.

The principal sources used were Soviet newspapers and journals, such as Kazakhstanskaya Pravda. In addition, material translated in the Joint Publications Research Service and the Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports was utilized. Numerous secondary works by western scholars were consulted.


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