Magical identities: alternative witchcraft spiritualities through the lens of Turkish youth
Çalık, Özgün (2016) Magical identities: alternative witchcraft spiritualities through the lens of Turkish youth. [Thesis]
This thesis explores the creation of youth subjectivities in Turkey within the framework of alternative witchcraft spiritualities. I focused on the selfrepresentations and narratives of young people who practice alternative witchcraft spiritualities to investigate their understandings of religiosity, spirituality, and current societal conditions that make them gravitate towards alternative witchcraft spiritualities; based on local situations and social conditions in the global postmodern era. With the advent of new technologies and influence of media representations, witchcraft spiritualities and practices started to become rather widespread and popular from the 1990s onwards across the globe, and since globalization paved the way for cultural interactions, Turkish youth also started to be interested in alternative witchcraft spiritualities. I discuss throughout the thesis how young people in Turkey develop nonmainstream subjectivities within the contemporary societal environment of Turkey to find meanings and cope with existential anxieties stemming from the question of identity. I argue that the process of Turkish youth identity creation upon alternative witchcraft spiritualities is being shaped within a cultural environment which oscillates between traditional Islamic conservatism and contemporary postmodernity and secularism. Moreover, since postmodernity turn the concepts upside-down and demolishes consistency, some young people who become confused because of the contradictory characteristics of contemporary society gravitate towards alternative witchcraft spiritualities for the sake of self-empowerment and to find answers for identity questions.
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