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Beyond the Songs: Women Performers of Ethnic Music in Contemporary Istanbul


Beyond the Songs: Women Performers of Ethnic Music in Contemporary Istanbul

Courchesne, Alexandra (2013) Beyond the Songs: Women Performers of Ethnic Music in Contemporary Istanbul. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
Courchesne_MA_S2014.pdf - Accepted Version


Music has often had a political aspect but its power has increased since the formation of the modern state. In Turkey, music has been an instrument for the nation-building project but also a tool for members of the civil society. With the release of the ban that prohibited ethnic music in the public arena in 1990, women performers of this music genre have managed to carve out their niche on the public stage as well as to gain social respectability in the process. Drawing on a three-month fieldwork in Istanbul, this thesis seeks to present the strategies and obstacles women performers of ethnic music employ to break with the image of the ‘entertainer’, to advocate for the rights of the ethnic minorities, and to re-define inter-gender relationships. This thesis is an exercise in engagement with these questions: How do women use ethnic music in order to carve out their place in the public arena while gaining and maintaining social respectability? More particularly, how were they able to do it in the peculiar constantly evolving socio-political landscape of the Ottoman Empire first and then of the Turkish Republic? What were the obstacles they faced at various stages and what strategies they employed to challenge, circumvent, overcome, co-opt or neutralize these obstacles?

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Courchesne, Alexandra
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:November 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hoodfar, Homa
ID Code:978123
Deposited On:03 Jul 2014 17:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:46
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