Autobiographical Narration in Turkish Women Weblogs

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:30 PM
Room: Booth 60
Oral Presentation
Gülsüm DEPELI , Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Last decades have witnessed a shift in the textual genre of life narratives from conventional biography to autobiography. Both the feminist qualitative researches and the quantitative data on the profiles of weblog users reveal that this shift from biography to autobiography also led to a remarkable transition from a male domain towards the female one in life narratives. Moreover, in the era of digital media, new communication technologies also created significant changes in the form and content of “writing about oneself”. They have enriched the forms of expressions through new textual and audio-visual supports. Besides, the intellectual and emotional mood of the autobiographic texts has also changed in a considerable way. Autobiographic texts of today, which are framing a new kind of “private publics”, are roughly being generated in the light of certain dichotomies such as the present versus the past, fictional versus factual/real, life versus death, whole versus partial, Erlebnis versus Erfahrung (in terms of Benjamin’s conceptualization), and, intimacy/subjectivity versus objective distance.

Moreover, today not only the celebrity/famous people but also ordinary people can share their autobiography through the internet. Hence, it is possible to speak about a kind of democratization through the new media also in terms of acting as autobiographic personas.

In this paper, following the main path determined and marked by this ongoing shift, I will attempt to analyse Turkish women weblogs in the context of “autobiographical narrative” and the “construction of the self and identity” with regard to the controversial discussions on empowerment through new media.