Encounters and perceptions: a descriptive study on the local and Kurdish residents of Lüleburgaz
Yürek, Nilay (2014) Encounters and perceptions: a descriptive study on the local and Kurdish residents of Lüleburgaz. [Thesis]
This study investigated the nature of the intergroup relationship and intergroup contact between the local and Kurdish residents of Lüleburgaz. Lüleburgaz was chosen due to the increasing number of Kurdish population in the city. Local and Kurdish residents living in the selected neighborhoods of Lüleburgaz were interviewed. The findings revealed that intergroup relations in Lüleburgaz are shaped around a social hierarchy, where the positions of the social groups are determined by the local people. In this social hierarchy, it was seen that the Kurdish population is placed at the lowest level. As for the intergroup contact, it was discovered that there is an asymmetry between the local people and the Kurdish residents in terms of the generalization of the positive contact outcomes. Local people tend to generalize the outcomes of the negative contact while accepting positive interaction with a Kurdish person as an exception. On the contrary, Kurdish residents are more likely to generalize positive contact outcomes. It was found that this asymmetry between the local and Kurdish residents stems from the asymmetry in social group status as well as the influence of the long-standing Kurdish question in Turkey and the official discourse which shape the perceptions of the people and create stereotypes that are difficult to challenge. In the end, a more structured intergroup contact setting and a reform in the official discourse and the media representations of the Kurdish population and culture is recommended for the generalization of positive intergroup contact outcomes.
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