Working with and against stereotypes: representations of honor among Turkish immigrant women in a migrant association in Berlin
Özer, Güney Olcay (2009) Working with and against stereotypes: representations of honor among Turkish immigrant women in a migrant association in Berlin. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1295910 (Table of Contents)
This research offers an ethnographic analysis of twelve German-Turkish women who are members and also active workers of Türkische Gemeinde in Deutschland (TGD) association. This thesis is the product of the twelve in depth interviews conducted in Berlin. This thesis aimed to focus on three major discourses of immigrant women on three major debates; 1) diversity in terms of heterogeneous identities, 2) integration of foreigners 3) Gender equality. The primal aim of conducting in depth interviews with the intent of pursuing the life stories of these women was to follow their own discursive constructions regarding their status of "being an immigrant" and also their ensuing floating discourses on "honor". The rationale for the focus upon participants associated with TGD was to attain discursive constructions of honor which circulate within a homogenous association where participants share the communal workplace, but espouse different life narratives while defining their discursive constructions. Through in depth interviews, two recurring motifs significantly appeared spontaneously in narratives of these women: virginity and headscarf. These two notions were paramount in almost every interviewee's identification with the image of the German- Turkish immigrant woman Since the main research methodology was to track discursive constructions of immigrants about gender and social role, the structure as well as findings of this study mirrors the structure of the participants' own narratives. The women's narratives provided the conceptual framework for this study which differed substantially from some of the essentialist points of view. Apart from homogenous attributes as TGD members and heterogeneous ones as immigrants, these Turkish Muslim women voiced a common opposition to the stereotyping of nationality, presenting Turks as "resistant" to integration. Participants of this research were also were adamant in their counter-position against the representation of the German-Turkish women by the German media. The main goal of this research is to allow these women to speak out as individuals who wish to construct their own identities and definitions of honor as opposed to being confined by stereotypes.
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