Imaginary extended family structure in rural areas: case of Avanos, Turkey

Gönüllü Atakan, Ayşe
Hoşgör, Hatice Ayşe
This paper focuses on understanding the family pattern changes within the rural transformation of Turkey. Literature indicates that in Turkey rural transformation after 1980s resulted with dissolution of patrilocally extended household structure which was based on petty commodity production. Today i nuclear family structure has become more prevalent. From a socialist feminist perspective, this paper explores the changes in the lives of two cohorts of rural women in town Avonos in Central Anatolia. Depending on mother-daughter interviews, the main argument of this paper is that although young couples physically do not live with their elders at the same household anymore as they were in the past, still they continue getting labour support from their elders specifically for child care. Findings indicate that despite changes created relative liberation of woman from heavy workload of extended household, the nature of gender division of labour between women and men resists to change at domestic sphere. Particularly when both women and men enroll in paid employment outside home, child care becomes a central problem in nuclear households. Generally the solution is found through intergenerational arrangements between women and their mother/ mother in laws. On the other hand, this arrangement prevents loss of value for elder women living outside of nuclear family by continuation of their reproductive labor through grandchild care. Consequently, this new patriarchal arrangement has created a new household form what we conceptualized as “imaginary extended family structure”. Such new household typology differs not only from traditional extended household structure in terms of spatial and organization structure of households but also from nuclear family definition of modernization theory.


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Citation Formats
A. Gönüllü Atakan and H. A. Hoşgör, “Imaginary extended family structure in rural areas: case of Avanos, Turkey,” Prague, 2015, p. 640, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: