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Male's honour and female's shame: Gender and ethnic identity contructions among Turkish divorcées in the migration context
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
1998 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation deals with the construction of gender and ethnic identity among Turkish immigrant divorcees in Sweden. The author explores what it means to be a divorcée from the perspective of fifteen Turkish women of varying ages and with different socio-economic and regional backgrounds. Being a divorcée is approached as an existential life situation where gender identity construction takes place. The empirical material consists of the narratives or life stories of the women which were recorded on tape in their homes. The author interprets and reconstructs the women's life stories about their marriages and divorces in the migration context. The main thesis of the study is that the women's gender identity constructions as divorcées can only be understood when articulated within the Turkish ethnic community where ethnic identity is constructed in interaction with the host society. From the ethnic community's point of view - a community which functions according to the codes or principles of honour and shame - the host society becomes the 'other'. Turkish women are seen as `bearers and carriers of ethnic identity', and control of the divorcées sexuality becomes accentuated. Through protection and control of women, the ethnic community strives to perpetuate itself and its values. In the study, Turkish society in general and the Turkish ethnic community in particular are defined as private patriarchy. The Swedish welfare society is defined as public patriarchy. The author maintains that divorcées both adjust to and become emancipated from both private and public patriarchies. In the work sphere, they become more emancipated; in the family sphere, they continue to adjust to a certain extent to private patriarchy. Being a divorcée is interpreted on a continuum moving from self-sacrifice to self-achievement. All the women strive to maintain their ethnic identity but all experience tensions in the intersections between gender and ethnic identity constructions. In this study, these tensions appear as struggles regarding definitions of femininity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 172 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, migration, gender and ethnic identity, divorce, family, honour and shame, private and public patriarchy
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-26ISBN: 91-506-1261-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-26DiVA: diva2:161932
Public defence
1998-04-02, universitetets lärosal IV, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1998-03-12 Created: 1998-03-12Bibliographically approved

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