Dissertation Abstracts

Values and economic strategies of middle class in Kazakhstan

Author: Burkhanova, Dana , dana.burkhanova@gmail.com
Department: sociology and social work
University: al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan
Supervisor: Gulmira ABDIRAIYMOVA, Philippe STEINER
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: russian

Keywords: middle class , values , economic strategies , Kazakhstan
Areas of Research: Social Classes and Social Movements , Stratification , Social Transformations and Sociology of Development


The purpose of the dissertation research - lies in the allocation of criteria for the identification of the middle class in Kazakhstan based on of the sociological analysis. The theoretical significance of the research is that based on the generalization of theoretical material approaches to the definition of the middle class in Kazakhstan sociology are structured. Key statements can be used in the further development of a holistic approach to the identification of the middle class.
The practical value of the dissertation is determined that a systematic material can serve as a basis in the preparation of special courses and training manuals for students of sociology degree. On the basis of this study preparation of scientific and analytic reports is possible, dissertations materials can be used in methodological work of state and public organizations interested in the development of the middle class in Kazakhstan. Ideas and positions of dissertation research can be used by public authorities in the management of social processes of formation and development of the middle class, for the development of major directions of social macro policy, analytic institutes of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a methodological basis for further studies of the middle class.
• Kazakhstan middle class is heterogeneous social formation, in-homogeneous in size and composition, sources of replenishment. An empirical study detects a second core layer having potential and pretending to perform related functions.
• In identifying modern Kazakh middle class along with the traditional criteria additional one should be applied and in view of the historical path of development of our country - the main criterion is "cultural capital", involving high security of intellectual and cultural resources and the conditions for their transmission to future generations.
• The findings of sociological analysis and contemporary socio- economic and cultural realities confirm the need to adapt the Western criteria for the identification of the middle class (integrated assessment material status, socio- professional status, the presence of higher education, self-identification and cultural capital). These criteria allow determination of this category. Middle class is a socially - differentiated population with higher, incomplete higher or specialized secondary education and employed in accordance with it, the manifestation of a sufficiently strong identity symbols, and having different cultural capital.
• In the study of modern Kazakh middle class questions of its formation as a factor of social stability and socio-economic development of the state are put forward. Therefore, one of the main criteria for inclusion in the middle class is not only income, but a whole complex that combines objective and subjective criteria (possession of certain values, outlook, interest in maintaining stability and self-identification). The proportion of people who have, in addition to objective criteria, set of values and a sign of identity is very low.
• Kazakhstan middle class is significantly different from the Western middle class, and is in the process of formation and development, when the class already exists and demonstrates qualitative differences from other segments of the population by the material situation (economic status), but "middle-class" behavior and consciousness of its representatives has not yet emerged and most of the middle class are only an economic category. The structure of the middle class and the proportion of the various strata are constantly changing, especially under the influence of crises that are a fixture of the market economy. Such crisis changes in the economy of Kazakhstan reduced the share of the middle class and hinder its development and growth.

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