Cultural Difference and Sexism in the Narratives of Immigrant Divorced Mothers from Turkey in Germany by Çiçek Tanlı


Taya Hanauer’s report on ‚Cultural Difference and Sexism in the Narratives of Immigrant Divorced Mothers from Turkey in Germany‘ by Çiçek Tanlı, June 25th.

Cicek Tanli presented some of her ideas for an upcoming conference paper focusing on a part of her ongoing PhD research. Based on narrative interviews with immigrant divorced mothers from Turkey in Germany, she approaches the daily struggles of immigrant divorced motherhood within the theoretical framework of violence of everyday life. Upon recently finishing her fieldwork, her current concern is how to tackle the narratives which adopted the dominant culturalizing and misogynistic discourses. By sharing exemplary fragments from four interviews, she pointed out the potentials and the limits of using symbolic violence and intersectionality to approach the issue, and suggested that the themes of loneness and forgetting in these narratives might also signal another analytical framework. Summary of discussion following her presentation: as Tanli had mentioned in the beginning, the interviews have not yet been analyzed according to the theories mentioned. This led to questions seeking to specify and narrow the focus, such as: what is interesting for her in the narratives and life conditions of the women interviewed? Is there something in particular that she is interested in ‘finding out’? How are their positions of migration articulated; what makes the women’s narratives different than the narratives of divorced, non-immigrant, mothers in Turkey? Other comments suggested taking one of the four interviews presented and applying the introduced theories to it, as an example which makes clear how the different parts of the research (theories and interviews) come together and what the next step of the research will be.  Additional feedback: the methodological complexity of the project might also need taking into account various other elements which could have influenced the way in which the women understand their own situation despite currently shared life conditions between them; such as the age and reason of arrival in Germany, immigrating as a family, as a couple, or as an individual, which might mean that children were born in Germany and possibly speak German at home, or that the children were older in the time of migration and therefore the family might be experiencing issues such as increased sense of loss and instability that are quite different than those born in Germany.