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Social and political perceptions of the Borat phenomenon in Kazakhstan: evidence from a case study of university students

Ó Beacháin, Donnacha orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-3039-6934 (2011) Social and political perceptions of the Borat phenomenon in Kazakhstan: evidence from a case study of university students. Studies of Transition States and Societies, 3 (3). pp. 51-63. ISSN 1736-8758

This article begins by chronicling and evaluating the reaction of the government of Kazakhstan to Sacha Baron Cohen’s film Borat—Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It then compares and contrasts the official government reaction with the expressed attitudes of local members of Kazakhstan’s young English-speaking elites. This study is based on the results of a survey of almost five hundred young university students conducted in March 2007 at KIMEP, the most prestigious university in the country. The sample gives a snapshot of those most likely to have been aware of Borat - the young, internet-savvy, educated urban elite - and inter alia provides insights into how respondents in Kazakhstan thought the movie impacted their country and would influence how they were treated abroad. The survey results suggest that while responses to Borat were heterogeneous, most students accepted that the choice of Kazakhstan as a target for satire was coincidental rather than conspiratorial. Despite official efforts to ban the movie, a majority of the respondents had seen the film and believed that the ban was a mistake. Also, while recognising that Borat would raise Kazakhstan’s profile in the world, respondents doubted it would increase knowledge, and some feared a change in their treatment when travelling abroad.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Kazakhstan; Borat; KIMEP, Sacha Baron Cohen; Nazarbayev; post-Soviet, Central Asia; Russia.
Subjects:Social Sciences > International relations
Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Research Institutes and Centres > Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction
Official URL:http://publications.tlu.ee/index.php/stss/article/...
Copyright Information:Open Access
ID Code:23573
Deposited On:18 Jul 2019 08:34 by Donnacha � Beacháin . Last Modified 18 Jul 2019 09:39

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