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Succeeding generations, changing trajectories: the influences of generational transition on the local pathways of development - the Kayseri experience

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2009
Hovardaoğlu, Ozan
The success of the local development experiences after the 1980s is associated with the non-economic components as well as the economic ones in the contemporary development literature. Most apparently, the literature seems to be intensified on the local institutions and on the local social interaction which creates reciprocal cooperative trust relations. These socially constructed local institutions refer to the local rules, routines and patterns having been directly influencing the relation among the local actors of development. They are also seen to be the organizational actors of development being responsible for the social inheritance of traditional and even tacit local knowledge and facilitating the adaptation of other local actors to the changing supra local networks. In many cases, however, the age groups dominating these successful development experiences have come to the edge of or already exceeded the age limits of active workforce cohorts currently. The coming decade, therefore, indicates a succession period from these generations leading to the emergence of successful development experiences to their successors. This period is identified in this study as the generational transition. This concept represents a newly emerging field of contradiction and this study analyses and conceptualizes the influences of generational transition on the local pathways of development both in terms of the tensions between diverse generations, and in context of tensions between the institutions and successor generations and among the institutions being socially constructed by diverse generations. These tensions are analyzed in this study through the Kayseri experience which has created a successful local development practice after the 1980s by focusing the generational transformation of both the local development path and the socio-spatial patterns of the town. This analysis indicates three vitally important outcomes of generational transition. Firstly, the local socio-spatial institutions have a crucial importance in the social inheritance of the traditional local knowledge and they have been transformed by the influences of generational transition. Secondly, it is found that the economic organizations have been transformed generationally in tune with the generational transition. And finally it is found that the generational transition has directly been influencing the local development path by destroying or changing some institutions and by creating some new ones.