Kurdish Women of Ilam, Perception of Messages Broadcast by Newroz Satellite TV; a Case Study of Oppositional (Counter-Hegemonic) Reading


This article is an attempt to analyze the results of a study on how Kurdish women in the city of Ilam perceive guerrilla war documentaries aired by P.K.K satellite network, i. e., Newroz TV. In order to perform such research ambition, we rely on the cultural studies tradition of taking into consideration the concepts of power and perception, when analyzing ethnic minorities. Accordingly, a synthesis of perception theory and ethnic minority’s theory is constructed to address how Kurdish women perceive documentaries on female participation in guerrilla groups. The problematic of this research concerns with satellite TV programs on ethnic minorities, especially now that they have attracted minority groups’ attentions. The producers of such TV programs make these documentaries on the assumption that their audience can use them to revive their ethnic identity. This is while almost all the studies that have so far been done on ethnic groups excluded the perception of women as readers of the unpopular texts, including texts that deal with ethnic identity. This article tackles this very issue and takes it to be a profound scientific matter that has been neglected in the studies of ethnic groups. It uses qualitative approach and focus group discussions with a sample of 24 interviewees to gather its data so to indicate whether or not Kurdish women in the city of Ilam assume the position of facilitating participation or resisting participation in guerrilla groups. Some of the findings indicate that Kurdish women in the city of Ilam tend to negotiate with the dominant Kurdist discourse of Newroz TV. They nevertheless refute female participation in guerrilla groups and do not consider it as part of the discourse of Kurdism. These women even decode the documentaries on women participation in guerrilla groups in opposite way as the intentions of program makers.