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The Analysis of the female drivers’ internalization and reproduction of gender stereotyped perceptions in traffic

Dağdelen, Funda H.
This study investigates the factors of stereotypical perceptions about female drivers, the internalization and reproduction of negative perceptions by female drivers themselves in active traffic in Turkey. In this context, the effects of patriarchal ideology and male norms on female drivers’ driving features were analyzed by focusing on age, social status and social transformation of female drivers through their own driving experiences with the feminist standpoint approach. Additionally, in order to survive in traffic as an active female driver the coping strategies that they developed were examined through their subjectivities. To collect the data triangulation research method was used in this study. In the quantitative part, 118 male and female respondents answered to an online survey and in the qualitative part of the research semi-structured in-depth interviews were carried out with 20 female drivers between the age of 35 to 65 from upper-middle and middle-class women who live in Ankara. According to the findings of the study, both male and female drivers reproduce gender stereotyped perception about female drivers. Moreover, female drivers internalize and reproduce negative “female driver” stereotype by developing a hierarchy among women drivers by emulating masculinity as a coping strategy which strengthens the ideology of patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity.