A Gramscian reflection on the Laic/Islamic schism in the Turkish dominant class: the case of media
Öncü, Ahmet and Oğurlu, Anita (2013) A Gramscian reflection on the Laic/Islamic schism in the Turkish dominant class: the case of media. In: Öncü, Ahmet and Balkan, Mustafa Erol and Balkan, Neşecan, (eds.) Neoliberal Landscape and The Rise of Islamic Capital: The Case of Turkey. Berghahn, New York, Oxford. (Accepted/In Press)
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This chapter attempts to address two parallel concerns underscoring the class struggle between laic and Islamic fractions of the Turkish dominant class ensued in connection with the neoliberal transformation in Turkish capitalism. In this regard we focus on the media sector, especially newspapers. First, the schism in the economically dominant class and its ramifications for the ideological supremacy of bourgeoisie will be a focus for discussion. Secondly, how this schism is linked to the turf fight in the media sector will be analyzed. We first introduce a theoretical framework and elaborate upon the use of Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) and Repressive Apparatus (RA) in building hegemony by highlighting the implications of a schism in these apparatuses. Here we aim to combine Gramscian notion of hegemony with Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model and how this model can be contextualized with reference to the peculiarities of the Turkish case. In the second section we focus on the media sector and the power struggle between the media corporations owned by the Islamic and laic fractions in order to provide a background to our discussion in the sections to follow. In the third section we present a case, within the limits drawn by the theoretical framework, whereby a state of contention in the media sector is examined in relation to the two dominant class fractions vying for hegemonic leadership. In the fourth section, instead of a conclusion, we argue that, notwithstanding the lasting schism renders the building of hegemony an ever more difficult task for each fraction of the dominant class, monopolization of the media remains to preserve the domination of the capitalist class as a whole and renew its oppressive power over the working class.
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