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Identity (Trans)Formation in Divided Ethnic Groups: The Case of Lezgins in Azerbaijan

Type: Text

Title: Identity (Trans)Formation in Divided Ethnic Groups

Subtitle: The Case of Lezgins in Azerbaijan

Creator: Sahib Jafarov

DOI: 10.15457/cp_1_32-44

Date of Publication: 19.02.2018

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Language: English

Availability: Download

Description: The primary purpose of this paper is to shed light on identity issues, with the focus on identity transformation in split ethnicities. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the majority of ethnic conflicts, such as those involving the Lezgins, Talysh, Ossetians and Armenians, sprang out of people’s perception of separation by borders as a major threat to their unique identity. In the case of Lezgins, identity transformation from ethnicity to religiosity occurred in a quarter of a century, causing an identity clash within this ethnic group. Individual interviews were conducted with 9 Lezgins to research problems of identity (trans)formation of Lezgins in Azerbaijan at a time of an upsurge in religiosity among Lezgins of Russia and Azerbaijan. The paper illustrates, that besides religion various factors, such as urbanisation, education and integration significantly influenced the perceptions of identity and ethnicity in Lezgin case.

Geographical Area: Azerbaijan, Russia, South Caucasus

Keywords: ethnicity, nation, religion, Islam, Azerbaijan, Lezgin

Structured recordings: Relitz, Sebastian (ed.): Obstacles and Opportunities for Dialogue and Cooperation in Protracted Conflicts. Regensburg: Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), 2018. ISBN: 978-3-945232-01-9.

Citation: Jafarov, Sahib (2018): Identity (Trans)Formation in Divided Ethnic Groups: The Case of Lezgins in Azerbaijan. Version: 1. Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS). Text.