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A Case Study of Cultural Ethnicity and Enduring Social Patterns: The Kurds of Iraq

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Final Rept.

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This thesis examines the close relationship among members of Iraqi Kurdish culture and society and emerging nationalistsmodernist political structures currently in opposition to the Husain regime. In addition to providing updated information regarding various aspects of Kurdish society, this work supports the view that political actors and systems are primarily a product of, and subsequently supported by, socio-cultural factors such as tradition, environment and religion above and beyond the generally recognized economic and poli-historical influences. Following a descriptive portrait of Kurdish ethnicity and political structure, I introduce what I feel are enduring social patterns in Kurdish society. These patterns of personal and political relationships which have long flourished in tribal societies like the Kurds can be seen still in Kurdish national leadership. One model, saint-disciple, appears to render aptly not only Kurdish patterns of norms and social order, but much of Near Eastern and Islamic North African societies. In short, this thesis examines primordial ties within Kurdish society in transition from traditional to modernist. One system does not merely supplant that other, but rather adds to and adjusts the former according to the needs of society leaving underlying relations among social groups unchanged. Keywords Ethnic groups Islam Kurdistan Barzani Talabani Naqshbandi Sufism Theses.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History

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