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Islam, Secularism, and Turkish collective identity: A case study of culture in higher education

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Abstract:

My research examines collective identity as it relates to the growing culture of public religiosity in Turkey and how this culture is negotiated and increasingly entrenched in secular institutions using the case study of higher education. The role of religion in public life in a secular democratic society is often a cause for political debate, social concern, and cultural conflict. In Turkey, the headscarf issue, the phenomenon known as “neighborhood pressure” (mahalle baskısı), and a recent constitutional referendum are controversies with connections to conflicting notions of the appropriate role of religion in Turkish public life. These are national-level debates often portrayed as “culture wars” in the U.S.; in the context of Turkey, these often construed as clashes between modernity and Islam or between multiple visions of modernity.

While secularism and Islam are often portrayed in opposition in the context of modernity, scholars have begun to examine the ways in which the authority of Islamic actors has become increasingly embedded in Turkish secular institutions, politics, and social life. My research will build on this literature by examining how Islamic actors successfully function and negotiate collective differences within the context of higher education and the culture of Islam produced in this environment. I will look at the extent to which Islam and secularism successfully coexist by examining how publically Islamic actors create, negotiate, and legitimize contested visions of national culture by functioning within the realm of elite, internationalized higher education in Turkey.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492921_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Auerbach, Jennifer. "Islam, Secularism, and Turkish collective identity: A case study of culture in higher education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492921_index.html>

APA Citation:

Auerbach, J. "Islam, Secularism, and Turkish collective identity: A case study of culture in higher education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492921_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: My research examines collective identity as it relates to the growing culture of public religiosity in Turkey and how this culture is negotiated and increasingly entrenched in secular institutions using the case study of higher education. The role of religion in public life in a secular democratic society is often a cause for political debate, social concern, and cultural conflict. In Turkey, the headscarf issue, the phenomenon known as “neighborhood pressure” (mahalle baskısı), and a recent constitutional referendum are controversies with connections to conflicting notions of the appropriate role of religion in Turkish public life. These are national-level debates often portrayed as “culture wars” in the U.S.; in the context of Turkey, these often construed as clashes between modernity and Islam or between multiple visions of modernity.

While secularism and Islam are often portrayed in opposition in the context of modernity, scholars have begun to examine the ways in which the authority of Islamic actors has become increasingly embedded in Turkish secular institutions, politics, and social life. My research will build on this literature by examining how Islamic actors successfully function and negotiate collective differences within the context of higher education and the culture of Islam produced in this environment. I will look at the extent to which Islam and secularism successfully coexist by examining how publically Islamic actors create, negotiate, and legitimize contested visions of national culture by functioning within the realm of elite, internationalized higher education in Turkey.


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