Reflections on the New Patterns of Exclusion within the Working Class: Exclusion As “Omission” and the Struggle of Homebased Workers Union in Turkey

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:45 PM
Room: F204
Distributed Paper
Dilek HATTATOGLU , Sociology, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Mugla, Turkey
Homebased work, one of the most expanding work forms in the context of globalisation, has been one of the most invisible forms of work in the world including Turkey. This invisibility can be related to its women concentration in the male dominant world of existing organisations and systematic negligence of the second. This is why homebased workers, like other informal workers, have found ways of organising themselves. So, these new agents with different aims and scope, and consequently organising strategies, have entered to the fields of social movements and formal social policy. 

This development has not only an important effect on the field of social movements and public social policy, also marks a significant transformation in the patterns of exclusion: a shift from mere exclusion to an ‘inclusive’ one, at least in Turkey. In the past, exclusion was mainly in the form of almost complete denial of the existence of homebased work and these workers, now their acceptance as  full workers does not make a sense in the decision making processes of social policy or in the context of social movements. Almost every concrete instances, they are forgotten to be invited to involve in.  This negligence can also have several forms: to forget they are workers,  union is not a charity association, they are not experts working for it... In some instances, when they make corrections,  they are oftenly treated as ‘hysterical’ , over-emotional women expressing anger improperly.

This paper describes these new patterns and takes the “omission”, as the most common form of exclusion  in the case of homebased workers’ organising in Turkey. By exploring the perspective of the representatives of social movements/organisations who omit systematically, and then, by discussion of these data  with union members, aims to contribute the exploration of grounds of solidarity and action.