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Book on Youth Bulges in Tajikistan

01. Aug. 2014

Dr. Sophie Roche has published a book titled “Domesticating youth: youth bulges and their socio-political implications in Tajikistan”. She is Leader of the Junior Research Group with project C 16 “Demographic Turn”.

The book is a study of the youth bulges in both the Tajik society and Muslim societies generally. It consists of six different chapters covering multiple aspects of the dynamics of youth bulge, such as history, economy, migration, social and cultural organization, political events and war.

Most of the Muslim societies of the world have entered a demographic transition from high to low fertility and this process is accompanied by an increase in youth vis-à-vis other age groups. Political scientists and historians have debated whether such a “youth bulge” increases the potential for conflict or whether it represents a chance to accumulate wealth and push forward social and technological developments. This book introduces the discussion about youth bulge into social anthropology using Tajikistan, a post-Soviet country that experienced civil war in the 1990s, which is in the middle of such a demographic transition. Sophie Roche develops a social anthropological approach to analyze demographic and political dynamics, and suggests a new way of thinking about social change in youth bulge societies.

A review to the book is written by Jack David Eller, who regards Sophie Roche’s work as “an interesting and important study of contemporary Tajikistan, but its lessons have much broader implications.” 

Sophie Roche is Junior Research Group Leader at the Cluster and coordinates project C16 “the Demographic Turn in the Junction of Cultures”. She studied Central Asian Studies and Social Anthropology in Berlin and did long-term fieldwork in Tajikistan while at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany, between 2005 and 2010. She has conducted research on the impact of conflicts on individual biographies and on demographic change.

The book “Domesticating youth: youth bulges and their socio-political implications in Tajikistan” has been published by Berghahn Books in 2014 as part of the book series “Integration and conflict studies”.


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