The quest for identity and belonging: an ethnographic account of Georgian Turkish associations

Erdemli, Veysel (2019). The quest for identity and belonging: an ethnographic account of Georgian Turkish associations. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

Text - Redacted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (4MB) | Preview


This research explores the role of Georgian-Turkish associations in the formation of identity amongst citizens of Georgian descent in Turkey. It focuses on identity construction at the local, national and transnational levels and in the context of both the homeland (Turkey) and the ancestral homeland (Georgia). The thesis adopts an inductive, ethnographic approach to data collection and analysis, and was carried out with two associations in Istanbul. The first empirical chapter accounts for the broader context in which the associations were created, with a special emphasis on the role of the Turkish state and citizens’ concerns about being considered ‘separatist’ (at a time when possible state repressions remain a real threat). The following three empirical chapters address the associations’ focus on particular ‘cultural’ activities in both Turkey and Georgia, showing how such activities serve to reinforce different dimensions of identities among Turkish citizens of Georgian ethnic descent.
The study contributes to the literature on ethnic associations and identity formation in two ways. Firstly, the study proposes that political and cultural factors external to the associations significantly shape the nature of the associations themselves and the way they influence identity formation processes. Secondly, the thesis shows that associations play an important role in the construction of identity and that different associations foster different types of identities depending on the background, educational levels, kinship structure and type of ‘cultural’ activities encouraged by the associations’ elites, as well as the nature of members’ engagement with the country of settlement and the country of origin.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year