Patriarchal theory reconsidered: torture and gender based violence in Turkey

Akgul, F. 2016. Patriarchal theory reconsidered: torture and gender based violence in Turkey. PhD thesis University of Westminster Politics and International Relations

TitlePatriarchal theory reconsidered: torture and gender based violence in Turkey
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsAkgul, F.

Gender theory in general, and patriarchal theory in particular, have been explored in this research to describe the procedures, processes, norms, values and, most importantly, structures that define the subject. Patriarchal theory mostly perceives men as the abusers and women as the abused. However, the nuances and particularities of these oppressive structures have not been explored in detail. In this research, the reader is introduced to the various manifestations of how being privileged and underprivileged is constructed. This research focuses on processes and structures and it mostly explores alternative approaches towards political sociology and its intersection with gender theory.

The thesis adopts a multi-level analysis that involves the different manifestations of the ruler-subject binary at the societal and interpersonal levels of analysis. The so-called private and public spheres with their fluid identities have been analyzed after descriptions of internal mechanisms reproducing the social construction of oppression are understood. Similarities between analysis concerned with the household and the public sphere reflects on how binaries such as the masculine and feminine, and the ruler and the subject, reproduce, mirror and reinforce one another.

This research, therefore, focuses on structural and systematic ways of reproducing patriarchy as a system that affects the society in an inclusive way. This required and understanding of norms and values that have been analyzed as a reflection of processes that accommodate oppression. The intersection of these processes has led the author to argue that ‘women are to men, what the citizen is for the state, in the context of Turkey’.

The feminization of the male political subject has been argued after presenting three chapters that represent my original contribution to knowledge. Through utilizing
interviews conducted by other scholars, I initially analyzed male and female statements on domestic violence in Turkey. Second, I analyzed written texts, including official documents, which inform the reader of state officials’ views on gender inequality. Third, I have analyzed the relationship between the state and the citizen through the research I conducted, on police violence during the Gezi Park protests and other interviews include the research conducted with feminist and human rights laywers.

The similarities between the manner, processes and values between the male and female (as well as the ruler and the subject) led to a discussion that the male political subject is simultaneously masculine and feminine. The feminization of the male political subject represented an alignment between two spheres that reinforce one another, through mirroring the public and the private. These two systems created a contradiction within the subject often leading him to over-compensate his damage. Therefore, patriarchal relativity was introduced to discuss a perspective on over-compensation amongst subjects and agents that coincide and conflate within vertical patriarchy.

Accordingly, new concepts of patriarchy were needed to capture the nuances within a system that defines the subject at macro and micro levels. Throughout this research, the contributions produced by scholars during the past forty years over debates on patriarchal theory have been reproduced to a great extent.

This research has utilized a multi-level analysis through comparisons made by references to metaphors. Metaphoric reproduction is a rare approach within patriarchal theory, often different to utilizing a single theoretical framework. The employment of semi-structured and unstructured interviews with additional content analysis substantiates the author’s subjectivity. This subjectivity reflects a feminist understanding of politics, political sociology, philosophy, and gender theory. As a result, political structures, processes, privilege, and vulnerability have been explored with a view understanding and empowering the marginalized.

PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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