Integrating the Patriarch? Contested Representations of Turkish Migrant Men in Austria

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Paul SCHEIBELHOFER, University of Innsbruck, Austria, Austria
In this paper, I analyze how Turkish migrant masculinities are represented in the Austrian context, how these representations are used politically and how migrants themselves engage with them. To study the contested representations, I employ discourse analytical as well as ethnographic methods and bring together critical masculinity studies, critical migration studies and feminist postcolonial theory.

Equipped with this approach, I analyze Austrian migration law and accompanying political discourses since the 1960s to show the role that shifting constructs of migrant male others in public discourse play in legitimizing restrictive migration legislation. Upon that, I briefly present three case studies in which I studied how Turkish migrants engage with the dominant public images. First, I focus on the contemporary discourse of homophobic Muslims and ask how a group of migrant LGBT activists in Vienna engage with this discourse and which notions of Turkish masculinity they construe in their work. I then present the analysis of a group of young men with Turkish migrant background, who engaged in rap music and seemed to correspond to images of problematic Turkish youth. But ethnographic data complicates this simplistic notion. Finally, I discuss how a young migrant film maker uses the medium of art for his critique of constructs of Turkish migrant masculinity, both amongst Turkish migrants in Austria as well as in sociological research.

I end the paper, by critically discussing how images of migrant Turkish male otherness are used to establish notions about a modern normative Western masculinity. Furthermore, I argue for the need to decolonize research on racialized masculinities. Such research should aim to highlight intersectional structures of dominance as well as sites of friction, contradiction and resistance to these relations of power.