Differences across generations and stability of values in the turbulence of social change in Turkey
Sümer, Nebi and Bal, Haluk Mert and Cemalcılar, Zeynep (2021) Differences across generations and stability of values in the turbulence of social change in Turkey. In: Tosun, Jale and Kittel, Bernhard and Pauknerová, Daniela, (eds.) Intergenerational transmission and economic self-sufficiency. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 263-295. ISBN 978-3-030-17497-2 (Print) 978-3-030-17500-9 (Online)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-17498-9_11
This chapter explores culture specific dynamics of intergenerational value transmission and its potential effects on youth self-sufficiency in the Turkish context. Due to rapid socio-economic changes and massive internal migration to urban areas in the last five decades, Turkey is experiencing a major transformation in the family structure, parenting values, and expectations from a young person. We propose that Kagitcibasi’s (2005) family model of “emotional interdependence” characterizing the dominant family system in Turkey as well as in the majority of the developing world provides a comprehensive framework for understanding how intergeneration differences in values would influence the motivation for economic self-sufficiency among youth. Our findings using semi-structured biographical interviews with 3 generations and 10 families from various cities suggest that wide social support system with strong family bonds and placing a high value on education are the common characteristics across generations and parenting styles. Findings suggest emotional interdependence found in families in Turkey allows a blend of authoritative, permissive and overprotective traits to varying degrees. Regardless of the dominant parental trait, higher education and secure jobs are seen as a fundamental path to economic self-sufficiency especially during the economic hardship and social turmoil. Although older generations and families in rural regions focus more on traditional values, such as obedience and appropriate conduct or nurture (“terbiye” in Turkish), and traditional gender roles, younger generations and families in urban areas report higher gender equality and autonomy in a relational family context and. Findings in the chapter suggest that formal and informal education as well as training programs targeting unemployed youth should prioritize self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship and pay special attention to gender equality. Emotional interdependence of families in Turkey, with its strong emphasis on social support and investment in education, might be assistive in these efforts as well.
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