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Session Overview
RN33_02b_P: Women's Movements and Organizations
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Eleni Nina Pazarzi, University of Piraeus
Session Chair: Ilenia Picardi, Università di Napoli Federico II
Location: PE.1.39
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: E, Level: 1.

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The debate of ‘difference’ and the feminist category of woman in Turkey in the late 1990s

Demet Gulcicek

University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Since 1995, the feminist movement in Turkey has been actively rethinking itself in relation to different minorities or discriminated groups. That rethinking has been prompted particularly by the Kurdish women’s movement, the lesbian and gay movement, and some Muslim feminist groups’ challenges against discrimination. This was a new process for the feminist movement of Turkey, especially compared to the 1980s, which is generally referred to as the beginning of the second wave feminism in Turkey and which is the notion of difference among women did not actively referred.

I claim that these encounters are not simply adding other categories to gender; rather, the categories of the ethnicity, sexuality, and religion has changed the normative area of the feminist movement in terms of the way of describing of womanhood or the way of thinking about politics or feminist politics. To be able to understand the effect, I will focus on the volumes of the Magazine of Pazartesi: Newspaper for Women (Kadinlara Mahsus Gazete). It can be claimed that the most prominent initiative of the feminist movement is the feminist Pazartesi Magazine for the period of 1995s to 2000s in Turkey. The magazine also aimed to be a newspaper trying to cast feminist eyes to the agenda of Turkey; thus, it is an important source to understand the transformation. In that framework, I would like to make a presentation about transformation of the feminist category of woman in Turkey in relation to the notion of difference between the years of 1995-2000 through Pazartesi Magazine.

“Meanwhile, it isn’t disastrous to affiliate men” – Investment Clubs and the Role of Gender on the Financial Market

Lydia Welbers

University of Bremen, Germany

In my research about investment clubs, which are associations of small investors who pool their money and decide together where to invest it on the financial market, I combine the research of small investors with research of gender relations. During my ethnographic observations the division of so called women’s investment clubs and "mixed" clubs, where women were beautiful mirrors, attracted my attention. Therefore, I will focus in my presentation on gendered processes of decision making and learning in investment clubs. Indeed, several excluding mechanisms have an impact on these group, wherefore the analyzed clubs can be described as homosocial groups, who have different - and similar - orientations, practices and conversational structures.

In contrast to male-dominated clubs, all women’s clubs mentioned gender relations. The usage of gender stereotypes and self-perceptions can provide guidance due to idealized images as well as orientational knowledge, but on the group-level it also heightens the cohesion of the group. Moreover, Gender is made relevant by them because the exclusion of men enables in their view the function of investment clubs, which is imparting financial literacy and empowering women. To achieve this, women’s investment clubs exclude males to foster women to gain financial literacy. In all-female clubs new practices are tried out and as regards hegemonic masculinity non-traditional orientations get stabilized. The on average older, middle class women do reflect here their deviation from hegemonic gendered behavior. Furthermore, different kinds of femininity are reflected in presentation methods within investment clubs. In the sum, femininity and gender order became contested topics. Especially for women, investment clubs offer opportunities to participate on the financial market and the homosocial group is a cornerstone of the empowerment.

How it is to be bodypositive woman? The identity construction of the members of the “Bodypositive” Russian social movement

Oxana Mikhaylova, Karina Eremeeva, Victoria Shelepina

National Research University Higher School of Economics

This study explores the identity construction of the members of the “Bodypositive” Russian social movement. Bodypositive in Russia has significantly transformed since its initial emergence in the USA. Russian Bodypositive community hasn't been studied before, although it has more than 60 000 followers in the social network Vkontakte. Structural and cognitive approaches in symbolic interactionism were combined (Stryker and Burke, 2000; Burke and Stets 2009) and utilized as a theoretical framework of the study. We inferred a hypothesis that depicts the process of identity construction by the Russian Bodypositive community adherents, relying on semi-structured interviews with bodypositive women (involved in Bodypositive for 1-10 years).

The identity (I and Me) is constructed within internal and external contexts. Internal contexts determine the bodypositive identity of the bodypositivists, while external contexts reflect the stability of bodypositive identity of the bodypositive women herself. Behavioral component is flexible. For instance, clothing practices of bodypositivists are usually hidden due to the dresscode in the workplace. Cognitive component of the identity is the stablest one, and one of the most remarkable findings concerning it is interviewees’ ambivalent views on beauty: some bodypositive women believe that every body is beautiful. However, others neglect the concept of beauty, because it leads to inequality as women who are considered beautiful by society, get unfair benefits. Bodypositive women defend their views aggressively in social networks, because they find persuasion unfruitful. In real life they regard themselves as unremarkable and believe that contemporary Russian society is too conservative to accept bodypositive ideology.

Gender based violence and women’s activism: Women’s activism against honour-based violence in Turkey

Bingul Durbas

Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom

There are a large number of published studies in the field of gender studies describing the role of the women’s movement against gender based violence. A growing body of literature has also emphasised the intersectional aspect of this issue, arguing for an approach towards the oppression of women, in terms of gender, race, class, ethnicity, etc. However, there are few studies that have investigated this area in Turkey. My paper addresses the women’s movement against domestic violence in Turkey with special attention to the issue of honour-based violence. Specifically, in my paper, based on one-to-one, qualitative semi-structured interviews with the representatives of seven women’s organisations based in Istanbul, Trabzon and Diyarbakir, I will be examining their conceptualisations of honour-based violence, factors that they identify with which reproduce these forms of violence against women, and the activities and strategies they develop and employ in relation to women who escape from violence in the private sphere. Drawing on theories of intersectionality, to the issue of domestic violence, I argue that an intersectional approach could be useful in order to provide a better understanding of violence against women and as a way of advancing collective responses to domestic violence. In conclusion, this paper, offers some important insights into the way in which the strategies that are developed by women’s organisations are influenced by their conceptualisation of domestic violence.

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