EU perceptions of islamist women from welfare party to justice and development party
Erdoğan, Esma (2006) EU perceptions of islamist women from welfare party to justice and development party. [Thesis]
The purpose of this study is to present a comparative analysis of attitudes, perceptions and expectations of “Islamist women” regarding the European Union, between the period of the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi-RP) and the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi-AKP ). The study argues that Islamist women approach to the EU is subjected to a visible change as a result of secession from the “social pattern of control” of the Nationalist View Movement. The thesis applied Norwegian Anthropologist F. Barth’s theory of “social organizations” to explain this change in the perceptions of the Islamist women. In order to control this argument the thesis uses both questionnaires and interviews that are held with Islamist women party members. Findings suggest that Islamist women are experiencing a more rapid and visible social change. These changes have started to be more visible mainly after the AKP government. The women do not perceive the EU membership as a challenge to the Muslim identity of Turkey and who regarded the EU as a Christian club during the RP era, interpret the EU with its institutions, and possible democratic advantages of membership today. Moreover, findings identify the expectation about head scarf issue is one of the important determinant of Islamist women’s perceptions regarding the EU.
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