Onur: 'emotional habitus' of LGBTI activism in Turkey
İlaslaner, Serkan (2015) Onur: 'emotional habitus' of LGBTI activism in Turkey. [Thesis]
This thesis focuses on the generation of emotions around Pride activism in Turkey. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with people who have been part of LGBTI activism in Turkey, this study investigates how feelings and emotions are becoming sites of political activism and how they generate discourses of equality, justice and humaneness that enables political participation and activism. What is ‘emotional habitus’? What does “pride” refer to in the context of LGBTI activism historically? How is it emotionally charged through political activism? In the local context, what is the difference between “pride” and onur? What kind of emotions Pride Parades invokes in people participating in the organization of this event? How does Pride activism transform feelings such as shame, fear, anxiety, loneliness and vulnerability into anger, motivation, courage, joy, enthusiasm, solidarity and empowerment? How are these altered through the changing social political and economic conjuncture of Turkey? Are there any challenges to these emotional practices? Posing these questions, among others, this research examines Deborah Gould’s conceptualization of “emotional habitus” in terms of the ‘ambivalent’ feelings and emotions attributed to being LGBTI in the context of heteronormative sociality and argues that the ambivalence created by the simultaneous existence of “conflicting” feelings can bolster political action and confrontational activism. Pride Weeks and Parades as a site to investigate relations between emotions and political activism, has been a focal point because they constitute the most visible physical outcome of the workings of emotions with activism, because of their associations to various forms of emotional states starting with pride itself. This study aims to articulate a new perspective to the LGBTI studies and literature in Turkey in its early stages by discussing the possibilities and openings that the concept “emotional habitus” can provide to the formation of political action.
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