Elite perceptions of self nation and society in contemporary Turkey
Gözaçan Özşahin, Ebru (2011) Elite perceptions of self nation and society in contemporary Turkey. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1307498
Based on in-depth interviews with elites who have graduated from two different elite schools, this study examines how Turkish elites socially, culturally and politically position themselves in contemporary Turkey. The narratives of the elites are historicized and contextualized in order to explore the relationship between elite education and emerging nationalism(s) in contemporary Turkey. This study argues that elite educational institutions are the most important agencies in the reproduction of the elite. The results of the research indicate that Turkish elites practice willful ignorance regarding the major political issues of contemporary Turkey. This study problematizes willful and educated ignorance and approaches the non-knowledge of the elites from an epistemological point of view and conceptualizes it within the networks of power relations. This study focuses on one of the challenges Turkish elites struggle with; the conflict between secularism and Islamism. Analyzing the feelings elites associate with the present day status of secularism in Turkey, this study aims to explore elite discourses of danger that construe Islamism and Islamists as the major threat to the Republican value of secularism. I argue that the construction of the secular elite identity is both inspired and supported by Ataturkist nationalism and try to show the clash of secular and Islamist identities through the prism of the headscarf debate in contemporary Turkey.
Repository Staff Only: item control page