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"We Kurds did not come to Sweden to become Swedish but continuing being Kurdish"
Lund University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0950-5083
2012 (English)In: 2nd Scientific World Kurdish Congress (WKC2012) in Hawler/Erbil, October 11-15, 2012, Hawler/Erbil, 2012, p. 16-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Based on 50 interviews, this paper engages with identity formation among young people with Kurdish backgrounds regarding processes of inclusion and exclusion in Sweden and the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds have fled Kurdistan and migrated to Western countries due to, among other reasons, violent conflicts, political persecution, mass murders, and repressive assimilation policy in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Historical experiences and social inequities are important repertoires for the construction of belonging and identification among Kurdish youth in Sweden. Nevertheless, it is mainly through the intersection of a ‘minoritized’ Kurdish identity in the Middle-East and a ‘minoritized’ Kurdish identity in Sweden through which young people construct their identities. For Kurds, migration to Sweden involves once again occupying a minoritized position, not only as Kurds, but also as gendered and racialized categories such as immigrants, “wogs”, Muslims, Middle-Easterners and Orientals. Despite this minoritized position, Kurds face a significantly different political reality in Sweden where they can organize themselves around their national identity as Kurds and freely express their ‘Kurdishness’ without state-sanctioned harassment. This paper focuses also on those strategies that Kurdish youth use to defend and construct an exclusive Kurdish identity that result from everyday confrontations that occur between young Kurds and certain youth with Arabic, Persian and Turkish backgrounds in Sweden – with those who challenge, make inferior and deny the existence of the Kurdish national identity. While the youth praise the political freedom and democracy that prevails in Sweden and the political support that Sweden provides Kurds, they also question the structural inequality and ethnic relations of dominance and subordination that alienate youth and deny them access to full citizenship rights. This study is based on a forthcoming book entitled “Contesting Kurdish Identities in Sweden” that will be published by Palgrave.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hawler/Erbil, 2012. p. 16-
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Research subject
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-41340OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-41340DiVA, id: diva2:798040
Conference
2nd Scientific World Kurdish Congress (WKC2012) in Hawler/Erbil, October 11-15, 2012
Available from: 2015-03-25 Created: 2015-03-25 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Eliassi, Barzoo

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf