The impasse of urban to rural migration: re-enchantment and disillusionment in Şirince
Budan, Pınar (2015) The impasse of urban to rural migration: re-enchantment and disillusionment in Şirince. [Thesis]
Şirince is a small touristic village situated on the hills of Selçuk province of İzmir. In the last 30 years, especially with the boom of tourism, a number of people from metropolitan cities migrated to the village. Through ethnographic fieldwork with ex-urbanites in Şirince, this thesis presents a critical exploration of the urban to rural migrants in Şirince from various angles. In order to understand the dynamics of relations among people in Şirince, I draw from the theoretical writings on place identity and locality and argue that Şirince is a place of non-identity. I then explore that the urbanites‟ purposes of re-enchanting with the world by migrating to village and their romantic imagination of the village life created an ambivalent situation when they faced the “reality.” I claim that on the one hand the inevitable transformation that Şirince has undergone in the last 30 years contradicts with the purposes of the informants‟ coming to the village: running away from the materiality of the urban and filling the void of spirituality. On the other hand, their gaze on and approach to the village, imbued with Occidentalist imaginations, make them undertake an attempt to modernize Şirince in return for material gains from the tourism industry. Finally, I propose that the failure of top-to-down modernization of the village and the inability to re-enchant with the world has created an impasse; an impasse the ex-urbanites defined through the metaphors of imprisonment: not the city, not the village, but where?
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