Representing and consuming "the East" in cultural markets
Öncü, Ayşe (2011) Representing and consuming "the East" in cultural markets. New Perspectives on Turkey (SI), 45 . pp. 49-73. ISSN 1305-3299
"The East" is an exceptional territory identified with Kurdish ethnicity within the geographical boundaries of the Turkish nation. This paper focuses on a critical historical moment, circa 2000-2004, when the promise of peace in this region was coupled with the explosive growth of urban consumer markets, to bring into public circulation a host of commercialized images of "the East" and "Eastern people." It examines how "the East" became codified in popular television melodrama. It also tracks how "Eastern tourism" became incorporated into middle-class leisure practices. By juxtaposing television narratives and tourist narratives, it argues that the commodification in cultural markets both affirms its "exceptionalism" and challenges its taken-for-granted parameters.
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