Matching Items (17)

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Turkish Women and Honor Killings, 1987-2016

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The concept of honor in Turkey is one that is highly revered. It determines how a family is viewed by their community and even how monetarily valuable women are to society. Women especially have a very direct impact on not

The concept of honor in Turkey is one that is highly revered. It determines how a family is viewed by their community and even how monetarily valuable women are to society. Women especially have a very direct impact on not only their own honor, but the honor of the entire family unit. If a Turkish woman is perceived to have committed a dishonorable act, the family, particularly the males, must act to restore the family honor by eliminating the source of dishonor. This often occurs through honor-based violence and honor killings. The goal of this thesis is to examine the root causes of honor-based violence, specifically honor killings of women in Turkey, and the time frame for this thesis is 1987 to 2016. Scholars cite three main reasons for honor killings: socioeconomic status of the family, patriarchal and cultural roots, and modernization of the country, and this thesis examines those reasons in depth. There are also different Turkish words for "honor," and they might play a role in how honor is viewed more complexly in the Turkish culture. The laws that have been passed since 1987 have evolved to attempt to eliminate honor killings; however, until those laws are well enforced, honor killings will not be fully eradicated. I look beyond the stereotypical cultural argument behind honor killings to realize that much more is in play, such as the lower class, the worth of a woman's body, and the struggle of enforcing the laws that have been passed. I come to the conclusion that honor killings are too complex to just have one lone factor as the root cause. Honor-based violence in Turkey seems to be the result of both the socioeconomic status of the family within the community and the modernization of the country.

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2016-05

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Building a pious self in secular settings: pious women in modern Turkey

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This dissertation aims to explore the diverse ways in which piety is conceptualized and cultivated by highly-educated Muslim women in Turkey. These women hold active positions within the secular-public sphere while trying to keep their aim of becoming pious in

This dissertation aims to explore the diverse ways in which piety is conceptualized and cultivated by highly-educated Muslim women in Turkey. These women hold active positions within the secular-public sphere while trying to keep their aim of becoming pious in their own way, in relation to their subjective understanding of piety. After a detailed analysis of the formation of the secular modern public sphere in Turkey, in relation to the questions of modernity, nation-building, secularism, Islamism, and the gender relations, it gives an account of the individual routes taken by the highly educated professional women to particular aspirations of piety. The individual stories are designed to show the arbitrariness of many modern binary oppositions such as modern vs. traditional, secular vs. religious, liberated vs. oppressed, individual vs. communal, and etc. These individual routes are also analyzed within a collective framework through an analysis of the activities of two women's NGO's addressing at their attempt of building a collective attitude toward the secular-liberal conception of gender and sexuality. Finally the dissertation argues that Turkey has the capacity to deconstruct the aforementioned binary categories with its macro-level sociopolitical experience, and the micro-level everyday life experiences of ordinary people. It also reveals that piety cannot be measured with outward expressions, or thought as a sociopolitical categorization. Because just like secularism, piety has also the capacity to penetrate into the everyday lives of people from diverse sociopolitical backgrounds, which opens up possibilities of rethinking the religious-secular divide, and all the other binaries that come with it.

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2012

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Food as a Vehicle to Break Down Racial Barriers

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This thesis explores the power of food to transcend cultural and racial borders and to act as a common ground, bringing people of all different backgrounds together. Through globalization, there is an increased movement of people from their homeland to

This thesis explores the power of food to transcend cultural and racial borders and to act as a common ground, bringing people of all different backgrounds together. Through globalization, there is an increased movement of people from their homeland to different regions around the world and with this migration comes the spread of their culture and cuisine to new areas. This spreading of culture often creates friction and tension amongst other cultures, however as this thesis argues, with increased diversity, there is the great potential for greater interaction with other cultures and therefore greater appreciation. The key aspect of this thesis is the ways in which food can be used as a tool to overcome racial barriers and serve as a means of positive expression of a culture. I hope to show that by engaging with a culture through its cuisine, one can arguably build a greater appreciation for that culture and therefore lower their preconceived notions and stereotypes.

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2019-05

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Spaces of interest: financial governance and debt subjectivity

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This dissertation examines automobile title lending practices to interrogate debt as an embodied experience. Alternative financial services such as title lending provide a way to link socio-economic inequality to instruments of financial debt. The predominant research on inequality

This dissertation examines automobile title lending practices to interrogate debt as an embodied experience. Alternative financial services such as title lending provide a way to link socio-economic inequality to instruments of financial debt. The predominant research on inequality focuses on wage, income, and asset wealth; rarely is a direct connection made between socio-economic inequality and the object of debt. My interest lies beyond aggregate amounts of debt to also consider the ways in which different bodies have access to different forms of debt. This project examines how particular subprime instruments work to reinforce structural inequalities associated with race, class, and gender and how specific populations are increasingly coming to rely on debt to subsist. Using in-depth interviews, geospatial mapping, and descriptive statistical analysis I show the importance of recognizing debt not only as a conditional object but also as a lived condition of being. I conclude with discussions on dispossession and financial precarity to consider how the normative discourse of debt needs to change.

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2016

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The spectre of colony: colonialism, Islamism, and state in Somalia

Description

Islamist groups in Somalia define themselves by their opposition. From the pre-Islamist movement of Mohammed Hassan in the nineteenth century to al-Itihaad al-Islaami in the twentieth to al-Shabaab in the twenty-first, Islamism exists as a form of resistance against the

Islamist groups in Somalia define themselves by their opposition. From the pre-Islamist movement of Mohammed Hassan in the nineteenth century to al-Itihaad al-Islaami in the twentieth to al-Shabaab in the twenty-first, Islamism exists as a form of resistance against the dominant power of the era. Furthermore these Islamist groups have all been influenced by the type of state in which they exist, be it colonial, independent, or failed. This work seeks to examine the relationship between the uniquely Somali form of Islamism and the state. Through use of historical records, modern media, and existing scholarship this dissertation will chart the development of Islamism in Somalia from the colonial period to the present and explore the relationship Somali Islamism has with various forms of state.

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2013

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Ghostly politics: statecraft, monumentalization, and a logic of haunting

Description

International Relations has traditionally focused on conflict and war, but the effects of violence including dead bodies and memorialization practices have largely been considered beyond the purview of the field. This project seeks to explore the relationship between practices of

International Relations has traditionally focused on conflict and war, but the effects of violence including dead bodies and memorialization practices have largely been considered beyond the purview of the field. This project seeks to explore the relationship between practices of statecraft at multiple levels and decisions surrounding memorialization. Exploring the role of bodies and bones and the politics of display at memorial sites, as well as the construction of space, I explore how practices of statecraft often rely on an exclusionary logic which renders certain lives politically qualified and others beyond the realm of qualified politics. I draw on the Derridean notion of hauntology to explore how the line between life and death itself is a political construction which sustains particular performances of statecraft. Utilizing ethnographic field work and discourse analysis, I trace the relationship between a logic of haunting and statecraft at sites of memory in three cases. Rwandan genocide memorialization is often centered on bodies and bones, displayed as evidence of the genocide. Yet, this display invokes the specter of genocide in order to legitimate specific policymaking. Memorialization of undocumented immigrants who die crossing the US-Mexico border offers an opportunity to explore practices that grieve ungrievable lives, and how memorialization can posit a resistance to the bordering mechanisms of statecraft. 9/11 memorialization offers an interesting case because of the way in which bodies were vanished and spaces reconfigured. Using the question of vanishing as a frame, this final case explores how statecraft is dependent on vanishing: the making absent of something so as to render something else present. Several main conclusions and implications are drawn from the cases. First, labeling certain lives as politically unqualified can sustain certain conceptualizations of the state. Second, paying attention to the way statecraft is a haunted performance, being haunted by the things we perhaps ethically should be haunted by, can re-conceptualize the way International Relations thinks about concepts such as security, citizenship, and power. Finally, memorialization, while seemingly innocuous, is really a space for political contestation that can, if done in certain ways, really implicate the high politics of security conventional wisdom.

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2012

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The development of Iraqi Shiʼa mourning rituals in modern Iraq: the ʻAshurā rituals and visitation of Al-Arbʻain

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This study is based on a submission of anthropological, historical, and literary approaches. The ethnographic study of the Shi'a holy shrines between November 2011 and January 2012 is based on my visit to Iraq. The study lasted almost ten weeks,

This study is based on a submission of anthropological, historical, and literary approaches. The ethnographic study of the Shi'a holy shrines between November 2011 and January 2012 is based on my visit to Iraq. The study lasted almost ten weeks, to include the two events under discussion: `Ashurā and Al-Arb`ain, in Karbala of that year. This thesis argues that the mourning rituals of `Ashurā and the Forty Day Visitation Zyarat Al-Arb`ain contribute to the social or individual life of Iraqi Shi'a. They also make significant contributions through creating a symbolic language to communicate for the community, as well as communicating with their essential symbolic structure. Second, the Forty Day Visitation Zyarat Al-Arb`ain is one of the most significant collective mourning rituals, one that expresses unity and solidarity of the Iraqi Shi'a community, and helps them to represent their collective power, and maintain their collective existence. This study uses two of Victor Turner's tripartite models. For `Ashurā the rite of passage rituals is used, which consists of the separation, margin, and re-aggregation phase. Through this process of entering and leaving time and social structure, it helps in changing the social status of the participants. The other model used for Al-Arb`ain is pilgrimage as a social process, which includes three levels of communitas: existential, normative, and ideological communitas. The Shi'a in Iraq are holding a position similar to Turner's notion of communitas since they are living within a society that is Muslim and yet even though they are a larger population of the society, they still become marginalized by the Sunni population socially, economically, and politically. Social relations and links play a significant role for Shi'a in `Ashurā and Al-Arb`ain as a reflection between their social status as an undefined communitas and the general structure of Iraqi society.

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2012

Jihad, peace and non-violence in Mouridism (1883-1927)

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ABSTRACT In this thesis, I probe into the ways in which the much-debated word Jihad lends itself to multifarious meanings within the Mourid Sufi Order and examine the foundations of the principles of peace and non-violence that informed the relationships

ABSTRACT In this thesis, I probe into the ways in which the much-debated word Jihad lends itself to multifarious meanings within the Mourid Sufi Order and examine the foundations of the principles of peace and non-violence that informed the relationships between Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, the founder of Mouridism (1853 ca - 1927) and the French colonial state from 1883 to 1927. As a matter of fact, unlike some Senegalese Muslim leaders who had waged a violent Jihad during the colonial conquest and expansion, Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba promoted peaceful forms of Jihad which partook of his reform and revival movement in the Senegalese society. Yet, it is worth pointing out that the Mourid leader's ethics of peace and philosophy of non-violence as methods of struggle (the etymological sense of the word Jihad) during colonial times have been largely unexplored within academia. The contours of these new forms of resistance were grounded on a peaceful and non-violent approach which, according to Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, was the only way to reach his spiritual, educational and social goals. This thesis proffers a counter-example to religious violence often associated with and perpetrated in the name of Islam. I argue in this thesis that a close investigation into Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba's epistemology of Jihad evidences that the term Jihad has spiritual, educational, social, cultural and economic functions which naturally contrast with its one-sided and violent connotation spotlighted over the last two decades. In conducting research for this work, I used a transdisciplinary approach that can allow me to address the complex issues of Jihad, peace and non-violence in a more comprehensive way. Accordingly, I have used a methodology that crosses the boundaries of several disciplines (historical, anthropological, sociological and literary).

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2013

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Velayat-e Faqih: innovation or within tradition

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The concept of Velayat-e Faqih as a type of Shi’ite Islamic government gained popularity three decades ago, after the Islamic revolution in Iran. The new constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was based on Velayat-e Fagih, proposed by the

The concept of Velayat-e Faqih as a type of Shi’ite Islamic government gained popularity three decades ago, after the Islamic revolution in Iran. The new constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was based on Velayat-e Fagih, proposed by the Imam Khomeini many consider him as the leader of the Islamic Revolution and the founder of the Iranian Islamic Republic. What is Velayat-e Faqih? Who can be the Vali Faqih? Why wasn't this idea proposed before Islamic Revolution in 1979? Did all the Shi’ite religious scholars endorse this idea or the Vali Faqih himself? All of these questions ultimately lead us to ask whether this concept has been drawn from Shi’ite Islamic discourses or it may perhaps be considered a novelty: a secularization of religion. These questions are increasingly discussed in academia and in the large public arena. Moreover, this discourse has divided Shi’ite Muslims into three groups: supporters of the Velayat-e Faqih, its opponents, and the silent group. It is important to analyze the position of all those groups including the silent group who did not publicly endorse or reject the theory. The theory of Velayat-e Faqih has emerged from the Imamate doctrine, which constitutes a cornerstone of Shi'ite sect of Islam. It is necessary to understand this political doctrine in relation to the context within which this concept of leadership had emerged. In order to overcome the ambiguities surrounding the relationship between Velayat-e Faqih and the position of Islamic jurist as a source of guidance and imitation (Marje Taqleed), it is necessary to discuss the various dimension of guardianship in the absence of the infallible Imam. Furthermore, the focus of this research is to review whether the concept of Velayat-e Faqih was innovated after the Islamic Revolution of Iran or existed within the Shi’ite tradition.

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2016

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Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire

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Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives

Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives about U.S. Empire. These narratives in turn religiously and racially charge the new normative practices of the security state and its historically haunted symbolic order. As individuals with complex subjectivities, the prisoners and guards are, of course, not reducible to the standardizing imprimatur of the state or its narratives. Despite the circulation of these ‘afterimages’ as fixed currency, the prisoners and guards produce their own metanarratives, through their para-ethnographic accounts of containment and of self. From within the panopticon of the prison, they seek sight lines, and gaze back at the state. This dissertation is thus a meditation on US militarism, violence, torture, race, and carceral practices, revealed thematically through metaphors of hungry ghosts, nature, journey and death, liminality, time, space, community, and salvage. Based on a multi-sited, empirical and imaginary ethnography, as well as textual and discourse analysis, I draw on the writing and testimony of prisoners, and military and intelligence personnel, whom I consider insightful para-ethnographers of the haunting valence of this fetishized historical event.

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2018