Biopower, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Turkey

  • Author / Creator
    Kazanbas, Esra
  • This thesis explores the disciplinary and biopolitical tools that are employed by the current neoconservative government of Turkey regarding women’s bodies. Since 2002, with the rise of a new conservative Islamist government, social life has been reshaped and reformed by the conservative discourses of the government. Women’s lives in Turkey have been greatly affected by the changing political and social atmosphere. Discourses about women center around the body and aim to discipline women’s bodies in many different ways, while women’s bodies are also crucially at stake in the government’s attempts to control the natality rate of the population. In this thesis, I analyzed how the Turkish government uses biopolitical apparatuses to discipline women’s bodies under two main categories. The reproduction economies of the government, as well as the surveillance and control of gender and sexuality, are the two main topics examined in this thesis. Examples are analyzed in light of the works of French philosopher Michel Foucault and feminist scholars. Foucault’s explanation of biopower and how it operates to control populations (biopolitics) and discipline individuals (disciplinary power), has been one of the most influential parts of his work. A combination of Foucauldian and feminist theory constitute the backbone of the thesis. To exemplify and understand how biopolitics and the disciplinary practices of the government impact women’s lives in Turkey, this thesis analyzes news articles, bill proposals in the parliament, and the public discourses of leading political figures in the country.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
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