The Cultural Politics of Restoring Ethnic Identity: Focusing on Renaming of Streets in Almaty

By Soon-ok Myong and Byong-soon Chun.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 9, 2015 $US5.00

Historically, geographical names have undergone a history of bestowing, changing, and terminating processes, and it is apt to be an object of reform project by socially dominant subjects particularly in the process of nation-state building. Almaty, as a center of culture and education for the former capital of Kazak SSR, is a representative city where the two distinct values and symbols conflict. The past prosperous Soviet fades out in the process of reconstructing indigenous history. This paper examines how the subjects inscribe ethnic identity by renaming streets and taking back the past cultural symbols. In conclusion, it confirms that renaming streets is a site of politics that generates a mechanism of inclusion and exclusion among contested cultural meanings, and is accompanied by a power subversion of subjects.

Keywords: Cultural Politics, Street Renaming, Ethnic Identity, Nation-State Building

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 13, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 9, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 372.200KB)).

Dr. Soon-ok Myong

Senior Lecturer, Department of Korean and Japanese Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Al-farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Dr. Byong-soon Chun

Senior lecturer of Korean Studies, Department of Korean and Japanese Studies, Al-farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan