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The Culture of Muslim Diaspora and (Un)Changing Identities: Sunni Turkish Ethnicity in London

Dogan Akkaya, Fatma (2020) The Culture of Muslim Diaspora and (Un)Changing Identities: Sunni Turkish Ethnicity in London. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

At the end of 1960s Sunni Turks from Turkey, after the Turkish Cypriots, migrated to the UK and provided further growth to the ethnic economy and cultural diversity in London. Although there is an increasing amount of literature on ethnocultural subgroups of the Turkish community across Europe and particularly in Britain, the Sunni Turkish population, which has constructed their own cultural codes mainly around Islam and the Anatolian tradition, was largely neglected. Since the beginning of their immigration experience, the Sunni Turks’ transnational connections have always been held open to ensure continuity of the culture and symbolic attachment to the homeland. However, today, they try to keep up with some new situations in transnational social spaces they have developed in multiple sites and with multiple connections. By conducting ethnographic research in North London, I examine the continuities and changes in Sunni Turks' cultural perceptions in the transnational context. My research not only contributes to the visibility of European Sunni Turks in academic literature, but also provides empirical evidence for identity and media studies from the perspective of transnationalism. Sunni Turkish identity is constantly produced in private and public spaces, which are vertically connected with the homeland culture through trans-institutionalization of economy, politics, religion, culture and media. Moreover, the transnational consciousness prompted by being in multiple sites enables horizontal communication with mostly individual motivation in the host culture. Here, particularly the Muslim identity broadens the definition of the transnational perspective, allowing supranational connections with other Muslim groups and facilitates the compatibility with mainstream culture. These two-ways allegiances are not antithetical to one another, but complementary to each other. Transnational media consumption of the Sunni Turks at home exemplify these multiple attachments by supporting both the reproduction of culture with 'visually imagined identities' and the perception of 'faded images of the homeland’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Fatma Dogan Akkaya
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2020 11:33
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 11:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28765

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