Escaping femininity, claiming respectability: Culture, class and young women in Turkey

Ayça Alemdaroğlu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Drawing on interview-based ethnographic research in Ankara, this article studies formations of femininity across social classes in urban Turkey. It centers on four young women, who have unequal access to economic resources and different cultural meanings. Through their biographies, this paper examines the effects of social class on experiences of gender and negotiations of femininity, on the one hand. And on the other, it demonstrates common narratives that young women employ in negotiating gender. While they commonly escape certain forms of femininity, which they frequently describe as traditional, backward, or submissive, they also employ alternative narratives such as independence, career success, moderation, chastity, and religiosity to attest self-value and respectability. Studying young women's experiences of gender and their negotiations of power provides fertile ground for further exploration of the construction of gender and class in relational terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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