Valentin I. Bushkov continues an ongoing series of papers on the male unions among the population of Middle Asia—see for instance his “Muzhskie ob‘edineniia na sovremennom etape razvitiia tadzhikistanskogo obshchestva [The Male Unions in the Current Step of the Development of Tajikistani Society],” Rasy i narody 27 (2001).  In the present article the author systematises field materials collected by him in the 1970s-80s on male unions (gaps, gashtaks, gapkhurs, etc.), examines their social functions, distinguishes several types of self-organisation, and studies their respective diffusions in varied regions of the Fergana Valley.  His conclusion is that male unions have lost their former role as an informal direction of the life of local communities, and rather express nowadays the interests of different social, professional and affinity groups.

Sergei Abashin, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Moscow
CER: I-7.4.G-667