The Effects of a Regional Currency on Cultural Identity in Kurdistan (1990-2003)

Subasi, Rojda (2023) The Effects of a Regional Currency on Cultural Identity in Kurdistan (1990-2003). PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/9SW67UU2

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Money and identity are two complex phenomena. However when considering stateless and conflictridden identities this complexity increases. Kurdistan is one such state. This research is focused on the relationship between ‘currency’ and ‘cultural identity’ of the Kurds. Concentrating upon the period circa 1990-2003, the possible formation of a collective identity amongst Kurds via the creation of currency will be examined. Until now there are many studies of Kurdish ethnic identity, Kurdish civilization, geography, national identity, natural resources, Kurdish diaspora and dis-unification of Kurdish political identity. However, there is currently no work examining the link between currency and Kurdish cultural identity. Interview data from Kurds collected from the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan Iraq, was analysed through the method of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). To examine the cultural, anthropological, sociological and economic aspects, this work is primarily based on the theoretical framework of Karl Polanyi and secondarily Émile Durkheim. The key issues: First the significance of the Swiss dinar as an episode in financial-monetary history, second, the effect of the Swiss dinar on Kurdish cultural identity and third, circa 1990-2003 illustrating a form of unified collective identity so far ignored from the existing literature. According to the research findings the period circa 1990-2003 is highly important for a number of reasons: 1) Even though this period was marked with aggressive conflict there is significant evidence that the Kurds created a new form of currency that expressed a collective identity. 2) Currency came to function as the pure and impure-sacred and kept separate by acts of symbolic boycotting 3) The possibility of an embedded Kurdish currency could lead the way for greater Kurdish growth/prosperity and economic independence as illustrated by the ‘Swiss dinar’ circa 1990-2003. There are also suggestions for further research investigating the links between various notions of money and the effects it has on identity formation, ideally with the aim of liberating cultural identity through the practices of cultural economics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kurds; Kurdistan; Kurdish identity; Swiss dinar; Currency; Money; Sacred; Profane; Embedded; Dis-embedded; Social-Relation; Cultural Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2024 15:45
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 15:54

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