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Negotiating Spatiality in Urban Migration Context: The Case of Syrian Students in Istanbul

KARAMESE, SEYMA (2022) Negotiating Spatiality in Urban Migration Context: The Case of Syrian Students in Istanbul. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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This study contributes to the current literature on space, migration, identity, and everyday life by bringing insights into how space is experienced and negotiated by Syrian students who are settled and studying in Istanbul post forced migration context. The notion of space has been widely debated but with sociological imagination, there is little reference to its impact on the perceptions and individual experiences of migrant students, who engage with culturally different organizations of spatiality. The main goal of the research is to display the place- making process through the everyday practices of the migrants in their urban settlements and to examine the relationship between this place-making process and the formation of the migratory identity in contemporary Turkish urban society. This thesis not only contributes to current literature on spatiality but also expands it to address the complexity of the construction of youth identities through migration processes by incorporating critical sociological theories and geographical discussions into the research. In this regard, the research draws a theoretical framework on the socio-spatiality discussion of Lefebvre and Soja, Cwerner’s conceptualization of multiple senses of time, the interaction between global and local based on Massey’s conceptualizations and Bourdieu’s model of habitus and capital to explore the relationship between space and identity at different societal scales. The research presents qualitative research into Istanbul based on ethnographic observations, virtual ethnographies, focus groups, unstructured and semi-structured in-depth interviews, with Syrian students and the NGOs they are affiliated with. Research findings regarding the multiple sense of temporality, the reconstruction of gender, understanding power relations, exploring the placemaking process, and transnational space and identities provide a complicated picture that grasps the dialectical relation between space and identity ii construction of Syrian youth. The bulk of the literature underestimates the theoretical framework of this thesis focusing on intersected features of place in terms of social, cultural, and physical in migration studies. Since it is possible for immigrants a production of a space- making process by actively negotiating with the host country, a place is not constructed just by conscious planning and design, but by bodily doing and living. Moreover, by ensuring that migration is perceived as a totality of meaning that includes the past, present, and future, this combination of temporality and spatiality produces new and multiple senses of spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Seyma Karamese
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2022 14:52
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 14:52

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