Gender Perceptions of Women from Different Social Categories

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:05
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Umut BELEK ERSEN, Independent researcher, Turkey
The subject of the presentation is to examine the attitude and behaviour of two different categories of women in Turkey regarding womanhood roles, and to identify the similarities and differences. The purpose is to analyse to what degree the women with certain qualities –education, financial independence, career etc. – necessity for achieving equality of which has been argued and emphasized in the literature, differfrom the women who do not have such qualities in realising equality and breaking the gender-based labour division. In order to compare the perception of these two categories of women, face-to-face semistructured interviews were held with 26 women of middle-upper socio-cultural structure having at least a university degree, prestigious positions in work career on one hand, and 26 women of lower socio-cultural structure, at most high-school graduate, employed in lower levels of hierarchy, on the other. Gender structure and gender perceptions which is dealt in this study is formed according to the ideological views of L. Althusser, is legitimised by the concept of “Masculine Domination” by P. Bourdieu, and is regularized by “Hegemonic Masculinity” by R. W.Connell. This three dimensional structure is followed in conducting the interviews and evaluation of the findings. The outcome of these interviews is that the underlying structure basically remains the same although there are divergences between two women categories. This underlying structure is traditional gender-based definitions of man and woman and labour division thereof. It is believed that this underlying structure can be rebuilt by women through questioning this structure and finding answers to these questions by themselves. Even though solutions such as education and employment in order to manage the superstructure is just as important, it is considered that making small changes in daily lives of women and reshaping their perceptions are the crucial elements to overcome masculine domination.