The Ambivalent political agency of intellectual religious women in turkey: a case study of the abortion debate in 2012

Özcan, Tuğba
This thesis attempts at providing a critical evaluation of Universalist Eurocentric conceptualization of agency. Taking the abortion debate in 2012 in Turkey as an empirical case, the thesis analyzes the statements of religious women who are publicly known to be intellectuals. Abortion debate is commentated around pro and con positions towards the abortion issue, which are reflected in the wider dichotomous categories of secularism and religiosity. Within this framework, Islamic discourse is taken nothing but patriarchal, and agency is assigned only on the part of resistance against this discourse. With an analysis of the statements of intellectual religious women, following the problematizations of Michel Foucault, Saba Mahmood, Asef Bayat, Chandra Mohanty, and Homi Bhabha, this thesis claims that agency cannot be reduced to resistance. For that purpose, three approaches to this notion is analyzed: compliant agency, pious critical agency and ‘devoted resistance’ approach to agency.


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Citation Formats
T. Özcan, “The Ambivalent political agency of intellectual religious women in turkey: a case study of the abortion debate in 2012,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.