Gender roles and community formation in Kurdish migrant women

Akbay, Hivda
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of the intersecting dynamics of gender and ethnic identities for Kurdish migrant women in Turkey. For this aim it attempts to investigate Kurdish migrant women's everyday lives in their private and public domains, which include in-family, out-family social and economic relations. It is expected that Kurdish women's gender and ethnic identities will intersect in these domains and will be effective in creating a specific ethnic community identity. For this reason, the differences between these women are compared with regard to age, marriage type, whether working outside of the house or not and in terms of their ethnic origins. In this thesis, twenty women living in Zeytinburnu-Istanbul were interviewed in 2002 by using the structured in- depth interview method. During the migration process, Kurdish migrant women play active roles in keeping the community together and keeping their collective identity. They are active as primary agents of socialization. They are effective agents in transmitting the family and kin values of their ethnic community from one generation to the next. However, women also create their own culture in a new social environment in the city. New cultural patterns as well as new patterns of social relations have emerged. By manipulating traditional gender roles and their ethnicity and through introducing nuances in translating these to everyday practice, Kurdish women have been able to promote an identity in their family and social life. In this process, however, they have iiialso reproduced some of the social inequalities that lie at the root of gender inequalities. The thesis brings a criticism to those feminist arguments which tend to focus on gender roles only without considering interacting dimensions of ethnicity, age, class and religion.
Citation Formats
H. Akbay, “Gender roles and community formation in Kurdish migrant women,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2003.