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Turkey maintains the image of a country bridging the divide between the Middle East and Europe; however, the continued prevalence of honor killings testifies to the difficulty in uprooting traditional patriarchal practices that remain widespread throughout the country. Although the Turkish government has enacted legal reforms – for instance, in 2002 and 2004 – aimed at eradicating the practice, new laws have been mostly ineffective and evidence indicates that both honor killings and the practice of “honor suicides” are actually increasing. My research explores this tension between secular government laws banning honor crimes and the continuation of honor killings within traditional and tribal communities. I argue that despite government efforts to educate the Turkish populace and institute legal reforms, the complex relationship between the cultural, patriarchal, and religious bases of honor killings makes it challenging to eradicate this practice in modern Turkish society.

People

Clara Rubin
Researcher

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During my study abroad experience with SIT’s Development and Social Change program in Cameroon, I spent six weeks in Ngaoundéré, a large town in the country’s Muslim North. Using surveys, interviews, and secondary materials I examined the relationship between the national secular legal system and traditional Islamic Fulbe law. My goal was to explore the balance between the two systems and identify areas of tension.

People

Eleanor Johnstone
Researcher

Michael Sheridan
Associate Professor of Anthropology & Sponsor

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A MiddLab Project

Oath-Sworn: The Concept of Oath-taking in Northwestern Medieval Europe

Learn more about History and Undergraduate Research at Middlebury College.

Oaths play an important role in our modern society from swearing-in procedures to Middlebury’s own Honor Code. A thousand years ago, oaths had a much larger role in early medieval society. Oaths were used to create artificial bonds between people. These bonds were the glue that kept the often violent early medieval society from falling apart. My study focuses on the social history of the oaths in northwestern Viking Age Europe through a close examination of Norse Sagas and French and English epics.

People

Christopher Rogers
Researcher

Louisa Burnham
Associate Professor of History & Advisor

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