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Gendering the individual and the population : patriarchal production of gendered subjectivities in political thought in early Republican Turkey

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2006
Yeğenoğlu, Metin
The main aim in this study is to understand how gendered subjectivities are constructed in political thought in early republican Turkey. In this respect, problematizations on gender, the main themes utilized in these problematizations and the operation of patriarchy in these intellectual activities are analyzed in the study. In doing so, the texts published in eight journals between 1929-1946 are examined employing a post-structuralist feminist theoretical framework, to which clarifications are proposed drawing on the works of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt to make it befit the particular aims of the study. It is argued in the study that the political discourses prevalent in early republican era utilized gender in producing utility and docility from individuals and in advancing the population quantitatively and qualitatively. At the heart of the problematizations and discourses on gender differences was the aim of structuring the public and private lives of the individual men and women in such a way that they become politically, socially, economically, culturally and, most importantly, biologically productive. This led to a transformation in the models governing theforms of patriarchal production of and control on gendered individuals and patriarchal power relations began to be modeled after disciplinary power, instead of sovereign power, that is (re)public(an) patriarchy began to become the dominant form, instead of private patriarchy. As a result, new forms of social control and new frameworks for organizing the roles of individual women and men in public, social and private realms emerged.