Cultural and language self-identification of ethnic minority groups in Kazakhstan
Keywords:Kazakh, Russian, Language Policy, Ethnolinguistic Vitality
AbstractThe article provides an overview of the language problems in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Social and theoretical deconstruction of the Soviet ethno-cultural monolith has led to changes in socio-psychological self-identification that reflect previously hidden differences in identity and language usage. The focus of the article is on the language knowledge, attitudes and the ethnolinguistic vitality of four ethnic minority group of Kazakhstan: Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and Koreans. The research findings indicate that the level of knowledge of Russian is high amongst Russians while the other groups studied have low knowledge of heritage language and have mainly shifted to Russian. The knowledge and the use of Kazakh language is low amongst all minorities studied, while the attitudes towards learning Kazakh are generally positive. The analysis of the ethnolinguistic vitality showed that the Russians have high ethnolinguistic vitality with a weak level of ethnocentrism while Ukrainians and Poles have low ethnolinguistic vitality indicating a medium danger of assimilation. Koreans have the lowest ethnolinguistic vitality indicating a strong danger of assimilation.
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