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Three Essays on Authoritarian Populism in Everyday Life: Turkey 2017-2019

Gemici, Basak (2022) Three Essays on Authoritarian Populism in Everyday Life: Turkey 2017-2019. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Researchers characterize the last fourteen years as a global democratic recession. This dissertation contributes to understanding the everyday dynamics of that recession by taking up the case of Turkey. It draws on ethnographic data from urban bus rides and 96 in-depth interviews, reported in three stand-alone articles.
The first article problematizes the dominance of the state-security perspective in emergency rule/military coup studies. It analyzes the perspectives and public daily experiences of “ordinary” people during the most recent emergency rule period (2016-2018) in the cities of Diyarbakir and Istanbul. It explains the ethnic, gendered, and spatial dynamics of intensified community insecurities by employing an intersectional human-security perspective.
Building from fieldwork between 2017-2019, the second article expands civil sphere theory with an analytical tool, interactional accountability, from feminist ethnomethodology, and paired with Goffman's interaction analysis. In doing so, it explains the mechanisms of daily interactions through which ordinary people negotiate and institutionalize changing boundaries of belonging to the populist construction of "people" in Istanbul. People experience and induce "social discomfort" in each other's lives through a system of interactional accountability: by orienting toward, assessing in terms of, and enforcing conformity to the regime's nativist, nationalist mentality. Social discomfort aggravates social strife and violence as interpersonal disciplinary actions intensify in step with formal state repression. People negotiate social discomfort by distancing from previously taken-for-granted interactions, censoring the presentation of self, and displaying symbols asserting identification with the regime's mentality.
The third article examines the social media use of ordinary voters during the 2017 executive presidency referendum campaign. It contends that the intense policing and control of the media and public protests led “yes” and “no” voters to post their claims on digital platforms.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gemici, Basakbag56@pitt.edubag56
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrush,
Committee MemberMarkoff,
Committee MemberBamyeh,
Committee MemberFinkel,
Committee MemberMoss,
Date: 31 July 2022
Date Type: Submission
Defense Date: 15 July 2022
Approval Date: 10 October 2022
Submission Date: 11 August 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 103
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accountability, ordinary interactions, populism, authoritarianism,
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2022 19:13
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2022 19:13


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