In the City, Out of Place: Dispossession and the Economics of Belonging in Southeastern Turkey

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In the City, Out of Place: Dispossession and the Economics of Belonging in Southeastern Turkey

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Title: In the City, Out of Place: Dispossession and the Economics of Belonging in Southeastern Turkey
Author: Day, John William
Citation: Day, John William. 2013. In the City, Out of Place: Dispossession and the Economics of Belonging in Southeastern Turkey. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This dissertation analyzes everyday talk about livelihoods, or about the challenges of work and getting by, among displaced Kurds in the city of Diyarbakır in southeastern Turkey. Over the past two decades, Diyarbakır has grown dramatically with the influx of tens of thousands of displaced and dispossessed rural Kurds uprooted by state policies of forced migration. These policies were designed with two strategic aims in mind: eliminating rural support networks for the Kurdish armed rebellion (the PKK), and concentrating populations in less dispersed and thus theoretically more easily policed spaces. However, it is argued here that while the former ambition has perhaps succeeded, the displacement and dispossession of rural Kurds throughout the 1990s, rather than suppressing dissent, has generated new fields and new forms of political struggle. Based on two years of fieldwork in Diyarbakır, this study explores the ways in which ordinary talk about livelihoods, about how to make a living and pay the bills, is, in this context, about more than ‘the economy’ alone. The interplay of people’s efforts to rebuild life and livelihood and the semiotic interpretation of these efforts is analyzed as a rich and under-appreciated site for the everyday practical generation of the political in Kurdish Turkey. This study contributes to the anthropology of Kurdish Turkey and of the Middle East, as well as to theories of displacement and dispossession, evaluative discourse, and the pragmatics of political stance.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10973942
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