Pub. date: 2012 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781452218458 | Print ISBN: 9781412981767 | Online ISBN: 9781452218458 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Work Life: 1200 to 1900: South, Central, and West Asia
In central Asia, the most important political network before the 20th century was the clan. The idea of ethnic identity as it is understand today did not exist in central Asia until the end of the Soviet era, except among foreigners; rather, central Asians identified themselves by clan affiliation, which is an informal, kinship-based network. The Khojas, for instance, were descendants of Ahman Kasani (1461–1542), a revered Sufi teacher; and the Tores were direct descendants of Genghis Khan (ca. 1162–1227). When the Russian Empire expanded into central Asia in the 18th and 19th centuries, clan networks began to take on their modern role as a way of consolidating power. For example, similar to the ethnicity-based, organized crime groups of the West, they controlled access ...