The Iraqi Kurdish refugee community in France, life habits and integration
France welcomed Iraqi Kurdish families between August 1989 and April 1991 who escaped from Iraqi chemical bombings. Most of them corne from rural areas: These families did not have the image of life style in France. How do they adapt themselves to the new way of life in France? Do they keep their cultural habits (identity) being in exile and in a country which is totally different from theirs? This thesis holds its interest in proposing answers to these questions through a detailed study on the dressing habits of 23 families (17 at the beginning of the study) who live in Angoulême, Albi, Troyes, Clamecy and Montauban.
On arrivai in France, these Kurdish people, quickly changed their dressing pattern and adopted the European one. As they do not want to look different in order not to be noticed they have accepted the new customs of which dressing is part and parcel. Taking into consideration the importance of the Kurdish dressing the question is, what are consequences of the changes as far as cultural identity is concerned. Dressing is linked to both private interior space and to public space.The study of the dressing habits shows the way these refugees can conciliate the two cultural models. On one hand their traditional norms and on the other the modern norms of the host country. The study of their clothing made me ask the following questions ; their social organisation, the role the community and the family cohesion as well as the relative relationship between parents and children. This example of these families illuminates the different stages of the integration process as well as strategies of social and cultural identities in the face of changes imposed by the host country (France).
Discipline : Langues, civilisations et sociétés orientales.
Mots-clés : Kurde, Irak, réfugié, émigration, costume, intégration, France.