Dynamics of intermediation in the agricultural labor market: women workers in Adapazari, Turkey

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2016
Mura, Elif Sabahat
This thesis documents wage-labor processes of agricultural workers in Adapazarı and offers to analyze intermediation practices, which is a part of these processes, in a relational perspective. As an alternative to conventional understanding that relates agency of intermediaries to the culture and/or tradition of the workers, it aims to emphasize the agency of workers, specific contexts of work relations, responsibilities of employers and the role of state in structuring the insecurity of wage-labor processes for agricultural workers, in the analysis of wage-labor processes in agriculture. As a dynamic of intermediation, the case study focuses on the strategies of workers to guarantee their payments and increase job opportunities in the labor market. This focus on workers’ agency is a search for an alternative perspective in the analysis of wage-labor processes in agriculture as a response to ongoing objectification-victimization and otherisation of workers in the mainstream discourse, particularly within the discussion on intermediaries. The research that questions the widespread analyses and representations of intermediaries is supported by discourse analysis based on historical press research and contemporary literature. The over-emphasis on cultural difference/uniqueness/peculiarity of workers in the contemporary analysis of wage-labor processes in Turkey’s agriculture is criticized, since relating the unjustness in the labor processes with workers’ own characteristics give sings of a victim blaming discourse, especially in the analyses on of Eastern and/or Kurdsih workers.
Citation Formats
E. S. Mura, “Dynamics of intermediation in the agricultural labor market: women workers in Adapazari, Turkey,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.