interethnic relations
ethnic groups
social distance
stereotypical representation

How to Cite

Kaliyev Т., Ashimkhanova Д., & Mussatayeva Ф. (2024). Social Distance of Ethnic Groups: from Proximity to Remoteness (in the Example of Kazakhstan). JOURNAL OF CENTRAL ASIAN STUDIES, 93(1), 57–68. https://doi.org/10.52536/3006-807X.2024-1.05


The ethno-demographic structure of the population of Kazakhstan is characterized by a high degree of ethno-cultural diversity. In the historical retrospective, the analysis of the conflicts involving ethnic groups allows us to discuss the presence of certain social distances that find their expression with categories such as connection and solidarity, remoteness, and intolerance. Over the years of independence, the country has experienced more than 20 intergroup conflicts related to the interethnic sphere. The causes of similar incidents can be attributed to various factors. The main ones are economic inequality, geopolitical instability, cultural gap, stereotypical representation, etc.

The above-mentioned factors, especially stereotypes and prejudice, can be a potential cause-and-effect link in the relationship formation of various degrees of proximity. In this regard, it is worth drawing clear parallels between interethnic attitudes and social distance, which requires a sociological measurement of their interrelation in Kazakh society.  

The article represents a systematization of manifestation characteristics of the social distance in the context of interaction between ethnic groups across different regions. The proposed work represents one of the initial attempts in the Kazakh ethno-political literature to study the processes of interethnic relations within the framework of the assessment proximity: from readiness for interethnic marriages to the desire for ethnic isolation.