Kurdistan between Modernism and Tradition (Case of Study: Mukerian)

Document Type : Research Paper


Ph.D. in Sociology, Tehran University and Faculty member of Farhangiyan University, Tehran


During last century and in a period of time called modern history of middle east, we have seen different changes in life of urban communities as whole, and urban and rural of the mentioned region in particular. The range and power of such changes has been in such a level that we can claim: it has changed the “life world” of people noticeably. Among all parts of the region our field study (Iran’s Kurdistan) faces in one way with a weak efforts of first generation for keeping of traditional values, for example; in the fields of religion, family and socio cultural issues, and on the other side, faces with double efforts of new generation who has adapted himself more with modern elements and values like; new education, mass media, secular values and urban life values with orientation toward consuming and welfare. However, it must be mentioned that all human societies among them Kurdistan involves dynamic and consistent process of “de-traditionalisation and traditionalisation”. Data of this research considering socio cultural peculiarities of studied subjects by using qualitative methods and grounded theory and applying techniques like; deep interviews, oral history and field participation. Theoretically, new theories of modernization and some theories which related to interpretive sociology especially Engellhart’s theory of values evolution, new theory of modernization and reflexive modernity of Giddens have formed our conceptual framework. Anyway, observations, studies and “ lived experience” of researcher shows the happening of different “ objective- subjective” kind of changes in the “ life world” of Kurds under influence of environmental conditions, locating in border age, historical, political and cultural conditions of geographical region called ”Mukerian”, in different fields; “ religion and spiritual values” ,social interactions, both inter and intra group relations, relation of couples, parents and their offspring, love and sexual issues, divorce, marriage and related traditions, in the fields of economic and life stocks of rural” life style, including; house decorations and material used for building, decorative and cosmetic materials and… also in the field of cultural and ethnic changes, attention paid to clothing and music, art and literature and other ethnic and identity symbols, all shows modernizing of Kurds .In fact we in one side observing “ creation of some new and modern tradition” and in the other “ modernizing of some old traditions” in Kurdistan. All such changes guided us toward our field theory which we have called it “pseudo modernism with Kurdish Iranian exclusivity”.