Northwestern Events Calendar


Esra Sarioglu: New Women and Gender Politics in Turkey

When: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Central

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Buffett Institute Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Ayca Alemdaroglu   847.467.6148

Group: Keyman Modern Turkish Studies (Northwestern Buffett)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


This talk examines uncharted dynamics of women’s employment in Turkey in the context of globalization. The recent rise of the urban economy dominated by services rather than industrial production has prompted a change in women’s labor force participation rates in Turkey towards more women working. However, the transition to service economy has altered not only women’s employment trends, but also their gender identities and the work culture in Turkey. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork on saleswomen in Istanbul, I explore how gendered dynamics of immaterial labor in Turkey has transformed working class subjectivities as well as gendered organization of the workplace. To better identify these changes, I employ the concept of the cultural politics of aesthetics and sexuality at work. The cultural politics of aesthetics builds on and extends the notion of aesthetic labor, which brings worker habitus and immaterial labor together. Cultural politics of sexuality, on the other hand, refers to the gendered organization of work which is embedded with particular meanings and norms of sexualized behavior, gendered interactions, and even language forms emerging from the workplace. The concept of the cultural politics of aesthetics and sexuality allow us to examine not only the feminine working class subjectivities and work culture, emerging with the expansion of the service economy, but also gender relations in the context of globalization, shaped to a certain extent by the AKP government's conservative gender politics.


Esra Sarioglu received her Ph.D. in Sociology at SUNY-Binghamton and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Gender Studies Division at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Ankara University, Turkey.


This event is hosted by the Turkey Working Group (TWG) of the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program.



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