318.9 Cinema as a visual tool for immigrants' welfare

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 12:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Distributed Paper
Tülay KAYA , Sociology, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
At least one of the sessions in any international meeting of sociology is reserved for the matters of immigration and immigrants. It is clear that immigration and immigrants are among the fundamental practices and facts inherited from the oldest periods of the history of mankind. We know that there are reasons for this practice and fact to continue to exist and that various studies have been made on them. In this study, not those reasons but the subject of cinema will be discussed as one of the means which have effects on the process of gaining a place in the new homeland by the immigrants. The artistic field of cinema will be examined as a means for telling various sentimentalities through aesthetization. 

The fact of immigration and immigrants is a highly abundant resource for cinema. Cinema can function as a former of perceptions about immigrant groups who are in need of gaining a place within the already established society. In this sense, the sponsors of the relevant genre are also critical. The Turkish immigrants in Germany have been the subjects of various movies. The theme of that type of movies is mostly the personal dilemmas of individuals who, because of their cultural background, can not attune themselves to the existing social practices in the immigrated country. Whereas, in their motherland, they are portrayed as people who have alienated themselves to their original culture. The message is clear on either side: they can not manage to be happy wherever you choose to stay.

Does cinema really have a potential to be utilized as a means to overcome the existing problems and ostracism in immigrated societies? How can cinematic immigrant representations provide us with opinions about the processes of social equity and democratization in the immigrated society?