Research: Publications

NURCE's Participation in the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Boston, Massachusetts

Between August 4-8, in collaboration with co-authors Roy N., Baskynbayeva N., Paromita, and Ghosh A., Nurlykhan Aljanova presented the research paper titled "Decolonizing Feminist ‘Knowledge’: ‘The Modern Woman’ in Kazakh Influencer Culture" at the distinguished 83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The paper received recognition from Academy of Management reviewers as one of the most outstanding contributions in the program, a distinction that led to its inclusion in the esteemed Proceedings of the 2023 Academy of Management Meeting.

Furthermore, this paper has earned the distinction of being a finalist for the prestigious 2023 Carolyn Dexter Award for Best International Paper. Additionally, it was honoured with the inaugural Professor Anshuman Prasad Award, recognizing it as the best paper in the realm of Postcolonial Scholarship and Decolonial Practice. This esteemed recognition was conferred by the Academy of Management Critical Management Studies Program Chairs and Division Chairs Elect.

This paper seeks to deepen the understanding of gendered influencer cultures and the construction of women’s subjectivities through their relationships with religion, work, family, motherhood, and the state. We situate our research in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan and study the three most popular female influencers and their followers. We question existing dominant and universalist Western feminist frameworks (post-feminist and neoliberal) of reading women’s roles in influencer cultures and their imbrications in the market.

Deploying theories of decoloniality and epistemic reconstitutions, this paper uncovers underlying forms of imperialism in knowledge construction. This epistemic reconstitution is necessitated by our respondents’ ambivalent identification and disidentification with feminism, which our respondents see as Western, neo-colonialist, and imperialist. Instead, they choose to use the idea of the modern woman, which is a complex amalgam of their historical legacies and lived realities. Exploring modalities of border thinking, we analyze this category of the modern woman to think beyond ideas of Anglo-American modernity to better understand the realities and aspirations of Kazakh women within influencer cultures.

This paper reads this idea of ‘alternative modernity’ in light of the construction of the ‘new woman’ in colonial India. To this end, the paper brings together the two discursive fields of post-colonialism and post-socialism to decolonize Western feminist theoretical paradigms of reading women-dominated influencer cultures. Thus, this paper contributes to widening the notions of transnational intersectionality in constructions of gendered influencer culture.