An analysis of Turkish modernity through discourses of masculinities

Bilgin, Elif
This dissertation intends to undertake an analysis of one of the most deeply-rooted dichotomies in Turkey̕s political and cultural history, -the Islamist-Kemalist divide- through a cultural, interdisciplinary and gender-conscious approach. Both the Kemalist and the Islamist identities situate themselves vis-à-vis the Other, as if they were mutually exclusive entities. However, when and if these formulations are approached as culturally shaped discursive practices, it is also revealed that they operate with and within similarities, continuities and hybridities. Intellectuals on both sides derive their metaphors from a common cultural and rhetorical pool. The cultural analysis of seemingly opposite ideological positions in Turkish political transformation through the gender lens in general and masculinities in particular identifies the various sites of social power that exist in Turkish society today. The study pays particular attention to conceptualizations of masculinity and femininity accompanying Turkey̕s modernization. The relative newness of the subject matter, the interdisciplinary approach it necessitates, and the recentness of the theoretical literature and methodological applications, as well as the paucity of empirical work in the context of Turkey employing these parameters necessarily draws the limits of this work as well as showing for the multidisciplinary, أunorthodoxؤ character of the approach. The study contends that such a cultural analysis of Turkish political transformation through the lens of gender in general and masculinities in particular might create a new epistemological terrain, one that goes beyond the current epistemologies mired in ontological dualities.


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Citation Formats
E. Bilgin, “An analysis of Turkish modernity through discourses of masculinities,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2004.