Intergenerational Conflicts and Daughters' Resistance to Unwanted Marriages in Turkish Society

Sunday, 10 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Aylin AKPINAR, Marmara University, Department of Sociology, Turkey
The qualitative research conducted by using in-depth interviews with 48 divorcées in three big cities of Turkish society in relation to marital lives and reasons for divorce has revealed the perpetual patriarchal domination in women's lives. In the narratives of 17 women of lower-income classes with rural backgrounds aged between 34 and 55 which this abstract is based on, one can trace the arranged marriages in early ages as a means of control of younger women's sexualities. Narratives reveal women's resistances to unwanted marriages which eventually lead to their divorces. Under the guise of extended family ideal, both intergenerational conflicts and daughters' resistances are hidden. Women whose marriages end in divorce most often have been raised in families by mothers who have also been subordinated by their husbands and thus these women lack role models. Narratives of women also reveal Turkish mothers' relaxed socialization of their sons who are not given family responsibilities. On the other hand, daughters are usually considered as burden on parents despite their contribution to household chores. As a result of these gender and age biased family dynamics, younger women are faced with real challenges upon marriage as they have to cope with husbands who do not take their share of responsibility in family life as well as parents-in-law who try to dominate younger women. Thus, getting a divorce as a final step can be understood as a sign of daughters' resistances against patriarchal domination and their search for individuation.