The University of Manchester, Aliaa Remtilla, PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media.
Abstract: Re‐producing social relations; Political and economic change and Islam in post‐Soviet Tajik Ishkashim. This dissertation explores what it means to be post‐socialist for Ismaili Muslims living in the Ishkashim district of Tajik Badakhshan. It examines the legacies of the Soviet era in people’s everyday lives, questioning how people continue to see themselves as socialist notwithstanding the putative end of state socialism.
Part of what it means to be socialist has to do with expectations of what the state should provide. Tajik Ishkashimis experienced the Soviet Union as an allocative centre that helped them greatly. The post–‐Soviet Tajik state is unable to provide for Tajik Ishkashimis in the way of the former Soviet Union. I suggest that Tajik Ishkashimis’religious leader, the Aga Khan, and his development institutions have gone some way toward filling this gap, making the Imam appear to be the new paternalist centre.
Excerpt: Table of Content
BEING A GOOD ISMAILI: STRIVING TO ACHIEVE BATINI DIDAR – 147
THE IMAM AND THE IMAMATE – 148
AN INTRODUCTION TO DIDAR – 151
BEING A GOOD ISMAILI – 155
WANTING TO BE GOOD: STRIVING FOR DIDAR – 162
CONCLUSION – 165