Online Temptations: Divorce and Extramarital Affairs in Kazakhstan
1.1. Islam and Family Dynamics in Contemporary Kazakhstan
1.2. ICTs and Extramarital Affairs in Muslim Central Asia
2.2. Focus Groups
3. Statistical Analysis
4. Focus Groups Analysis
Gaisha: “I think it is good that our cultural habits are changing through the contact with foreigners on social media sites. Thanks to this, we have many international couples today in Kazakhstan. Most couples remain together. However, in particular women fear that relatives oppose their decision to get married to a non-Kazakhstani. My personal opinion is that we live in a free country and that we have the right to fall in love with whomever we want to. (…) I believe that these mixed racial marriages will increase because people learn about other peoples’ lifestyles on Instagram and Facebook. Moreover, peoples’ approval of interethnic marriages differs across the different regions in Kazakhstan. Some families are more open towards such things and others are not ready to accept them”.
Zarina: “These people are fossils [refers to people who reject interethnic marriages]! Cultured (civilized) people will embrace them”.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Kazakhstan is a multiethnic country and in this article, Kazakhstanis refer to all citizens of Kazakhstan, regardless of their ethnic identity and Kazakhs to those who self-identify as “ethnic Kazakhs”. As a result of Soviet colonization, ethnic identities were crystallized in official documents and remained a strong identity marker. The people interviewed for this article all self-identified as Kazakhs and Muslims.
Homosexuality was even criminalized during long periods of time in the USSR (Kon 1995).
http://www.oecd.org/els/family/database.htm (accessed on 14 July 2021).
In both the Russian as well as the Kazakh WVS 7, survey respondents were asked to what extent they believe that divorce [Razvod (Russian), Azhyrasu (Kazakh)] or casual sex [Sluchaĭnye seksualnye svyazi (Russian), Kezdeĭsok seksualdy baĭlanystar (Kazakh)] are justified [V Kakoĭ stepeni eto deĭstvie, na Vash vzglyiad, mozhet byt’ opravdano? (Russian). Sonymen, kanshalykty oryndy dep oĭlaĭsyz? (Kazakh).]
Ninety One is a popular boys band, inspired by Korean pop music (known as Q-pop in Kazakhstan). Their androgynous looks and colorful outfits made them very unpopular among conservative circles in Kazakhstan, who accused them of insulting national culture (Tan 2021).
FG 18, male participant aged 58, Shymkent/FG 19, female participant aged 43, Shymkent.
FG 4, female participant aged 59, Aktau.
FG 16, female participants aged between 22 and 45, Kyzylorda.
FG 11, unmarried male participant aged 24, Nur-Sultan.
FG 18, male participant aged 58, Shymkent.
FG 3, male Kazakhs aged 32 and 33, Aktau/FG 2, male Kazakh aged 24, Aktau.
FG 8, female participant aged 42, Almaty.
FG 4, female participants aged 29, 37 and 59, Aktau/FG 19, female participants aged 28 and 43, Shymkent.
FG 5, female students aged 22, 23 and 23, Almaty/FG 20, female students aged 23, 29, Shymkent/FG 1, female students aged 19 and 20, Aktau.
FG 2, female participants aged 26 and 26, Aktau
FG 17, male participants aged between 22 and 42, Kyzylorda.
FG 3, male participants aged 32 and 33, Aktau.
FG 17, male participant aged 41, Kyzylorda.
FG 9, male participant aged 60, Nur-Sultan.
FG 5, female students aged 22, 23 and 23, Almaty.
FG 20, female students aged 23, 29, Shymkent.
FG 1, female students aged 19 and 20, Aktau.
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|Aktau||19 July 2019||FG1||2 females||19 and 20 years old|
|20 July 2019||FG2||4 females, 1 male||24–28 years old|
|20 July 2019||FG3||2 males||30 and 33 years old|
|20 July 2019||FG4||3 females||30–49 years old|
|Almaty||17 June 2019||FG5||3 females||18–29 years old|
|27 October 2019||FG6||4 females, 4 males||30–49 years old|
|27 October 2019||FG7||6 females, 1 male||30–50 years old|
|28 October 2019||FG8||5 females||30–49 years old|
|Nur-Sultan||19 October 2019||FG9||3 males, 3 females||22–60 years old|
|19 October 2019||FG10||6 females||22–47 years old|
|20 October 2019||FG11||6 males||22–44 years old|
|28 January 2020||FG12||6 females||18–21 years old|
|28 January 2020||FG13||5 males||18–21 years old|
|29 January 2020||FG14||3 males, 3 females||18–21 years old|
|Kyzylorda||2 November 2019||FG15||3 males, 3 females||21–47 years old|
|2 November 2019||FG16||6 females||22–45 years old|
|3 November 2019||FG17||6 males||22–42 years old|
|Shymkent||13 July 2019||FG18||1 male, 3 females||40–58 years old|
|13 July 2019||FG19||2 females||28 and 43 years old|
|14 July 2019||FG20||2 females||23 and 29 years old|
|Internet||Social Media||Mobile Phone|
|Less than monthly||8.4%||9.1%||10.7%|
|18–29 years old *||68.0%||59.2%||72.8%|
|30–49 years old *||58.2%||45.8%||60.2%|
|50+ years old *||49.3%||28.1%||49.3%|
|Internet||Mobile Phone||Social Media|
|Intercept||2.786 ***||2.616 ***||3.019 ***|
|Gender||0.656 *||0.642 *||0.679 **|
|Age: 30–49||0.724 *||0.741 *||0.675 *|
|Lower Middle Class||0.307||0.318||0.281|
|Urban||0.541 *||0.400||0.710 *|
|Frequent Internet User||−0.013|
|Frequent Smartphone User||0.385|
|Frequent Social Media User||−0.668 *|
|Internet||Mobile Phone||Social Media|
|Intercept||2.002 ***||2.072 ***||2.312 ***|
|Age: 30–49||0.546 *||0.537 *||0.494|
|Age: 50–91||0.624 *||0.612||0.573|
|Lower Middle Class||0.068||0.045||0.020|
|Frequent Internet User||0.470 *|
|Frequent Smartphone User||0.351|
|Frequent Social Media User||−0.216|
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Dall’Agnola, J.; Thibault, H. Online Temptations: Divorce and Extramarital Affairs in Kazakhstan. Religions 2021, 12, 654. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080654
Dall’Agnola J, Thibault H. Online Temptations: Divorce and Extramarital Affairs in Kazakhstan. Religions. 2021; 12(8):654. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080654Chicago/Turabian Style
Dall’Agnola, Jasmin, and Hélène Thibault. 2021. "Online Temptations: Divorce and Extramarital Affairs in Kazakhstan" Religions 12, no. 8: 654. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080654