[Belonging・Position] Gender and Social Development Studies Group, Inter-disciplinary Studies Center ・Deputy Director, Senior Research Fellow
[Research Field] Gender studies, Turkish studies
[email] Kaoru_Murakami E-mail
Profile Information (Research history, education, papers & publications)
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Previous research

I have been studying Turkish society based on both anthropological fieldwork and text analyses. I have examined the effects of gender norms and women’s responses to these norms by interviewing women from different social classes and positions, including young garment factory workers, housewives from impoverished households, and career women undergoing fertility treatments. I have also addressed the effects and institutionalization of the concept of an “ideal citizen,” and the exclusion of people who do not conform this ideal, by analyzing official documents, laws, and media reports focused on topics such as “public welfare and charity,” and “honor killings.” While my main focus is on contemporary Turkey, I also examine issues by taking the long, going back to the country’s founding period in the early 20th century, or the post-World War II, period, depending on the topic.

Current research projects

I am currently examining the implications of using public assistance programs in Turkey from the perspective of the recipients. In Turkey, public assistance recipients fervently defend their rights. What has emergds from interviews with these individuals is an idea of rights that overlaps, in part, with the modern right to life, as stipulated in the Turkish Constitution.This notion is also compatible with traditional and religious notions of rights. I try to uncover how the experience of receiving welfare benefits is shaped in the context of public opinion, which is often skeptical of recipients’ morals, and a multilayered perception of rights, with key terms such as recognition of one’s place of life, dignity, the state, and  sense of belonging as relevant keywords. Few studies to date have addressed the experience of using welfare programs from the recipients’ perspective. I aim to discuss the universality of this phenomenon while clarifying the unique aspects of the Turkish case.