Turkey is one of those geographies where ethnic and sectarian communities live together. Ethnic and sectarian differences in social life create a fragile structure in terms of "othering" and position groups against one another. Alevis are one of the several ethno-religious communities of Turkey that are positioned against Sunni Muslims. In Turkish literature, othering experiences of Alevis are discussed within the framework of totalizing discourses by reducing this issue to the category of sects, thus creating inequality in the social space which is generally related to the Alevis’ ethno-religious identity. Furthermore, it is observed that women’s experiences are ignored in discussions and evaluations due to gender-blindness. Based on the claim that Alevi women experience a different kind of othering than Alevi men, this study examines the othering experiences of Alevi women in private and public spaces based on patriarchal relations and intersectionality of gender, class, and belief (sect). By focusing on social relations within the context of time and space, as proposed by the intersectionality theory. Intersectionality among social categories based on social standing and hierarchy is examined within the context of attitudes towards “the other”. In this study, data was collected by conducting in-depth interviews with 20 Alevi women from the lower socio-economic sections of society. The women live in Mamak which is, sect-wise, one of the most heterogeneous and the least developed districts of Ankara. As a result, this study determined that although gender and belief (sect) intersectionality define “the other” in the private space, class was added as a category of inequality to “othering” in the public sphere. Consequently, from the stratification point, the othering experience is more severe and devastating in vertical social relations, that is, in the relations of different classes. As members of an ethno-religious community, Alevi women experience twice as much patriarchal oppression in their private space since they are women and belong to the Alevi community. Multiple aspects of one’s identity, such as class, ethnicity, gender, and belief (sect), affect an individual’s status in the social hierarchy, the inequality they face, and the degree of pressure they feel due to these factors.
Metin Açer, Tuğba
"“Other” and “othering” in the intersectionality of inequalities: Alevi women’s experiences in private and public spaces,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
5, Article 22.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss5/22