Strangers in the Neighbourhood: Everyday Interaction Between the Refugee and Local Women


Due to the ongoing war both in Syria and Iraq, as İçduygu (2015) addresses, over 3.5 million refugees are shifting from refugee to immigrant status in Turkey, and this creates an immediate need to plan for their long-term stay and to transform Turkey from a host country to home for them. To this end, the aim of this linguistic ethnographic research is to explore everyday interaction between the refugee and local women and to understand the dialogical processes through which they construct and negotiate their stances and identities in their encounters with each other. Drawing on Du Bois's (2007) stance triangle model, the researcher focuses on the local and refugee women's evaluation of each other's social practices and their reciprocal positioning and alignment processes. This research is carried out as a part of a Ph.D. thesis, and the audio-recorded spontaneous interaction data are collected from the local and Iraqi refugee women's informal gatherings in one of the neighbourhoods of an Anatolian town for one year. In line with the hegemonic identity politics in Turkey, Sunni-Islamic conservatism and Turkish nationalism are observed to be the two main discourses laying the foundation of the local women's constructed stances and developed social relations with the refugee women. The preliminary findings suggest that despite the Iraqi women's efforts to capitalise on the shared identities such as religion and gender, their refugee identity overshadows other identities they claim for themselves.

Author Information
Hasret Saygi, Bogazici University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: CITY2018
Stream: Sociology. Social Work and Social Concerns

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Posted by amp21