Kurdistan on the Global Stage: Kinship, Land, and Community in Iraq

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, Dec 31, 2013 - Social Science - 286 pages

Anthropologist Diane E. King has written about everyday life in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which covers much of the area long known as Iraqi Kurdistan. Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’thist Iraqi government by the United States and its allies in 2003, Kurdistan became a recognized part of the federal Iraqi system. The Region is now integrated through technology, media, and migration to the rest of the world.

Focusing on household life in Kurdistan’s towns and villages, King explores the ways that residents connect socially, particularly through patron-client relationships and as people belonging to gendered categories. She emphasizes that patrilineages (male ancestral lines) seem well adapted to the Middle Eastern modern stage and viceversa. The idea of patrilineal descent influences the meaning of refuge-seeking and migration as well as how identity and place are understood, how women and men interact, and how “politicking” is conducted.

In the new Kurdistan, old values may be maintained, reformulated, or questioned. King offers a sensitive interpretation of the challenges resulting from the intersection of tradition with modernity. Honor killings still occur when males believe their female relatives have dishonored their families, and female genital cutting endures. Yet, this is a region where modern technology has spread and seemingly everyone has a mobile phone. Households may have a startling combination of illiterate older women and educated young women. New ideas about citizenship coexist with older forms of patronage.

King is one of the very few scholars who conducted research in Iraq under extremely difficult conditions during the Saddam Hussein regime. How she was able to work in the midst of danger and in the wake of genocide is woven throughout the stories she tells. Kurdistan on the Global Stage serves as a lesson in field research as well as a valuable ethnography.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 Kurdistan Glocal
1
2 Fieldwork in a Danger Zone
41
Lineages Identity and Place
66
Women Navigating Patriliny
102
5 Politicking
138
6 Refuge Seeking Patriliny and the Global
172
7 Kurdistan in the World
204
Notes
229
Glossary and Acronyms
237
References
239
Index
255
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

DIANE E. KING is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Kentucky. She edited Middle Eastern Belongings and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Kurdistan region since 1995.

Bibliographic information