Ferda Nur Demirci

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Toronto, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9989

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Demirci, Ferda Nur (Toronto, U. of) "Rescaling Family and Intimacy: Mine-Work and Aspirations through Indebtedness in Soma, Turkey"

FERDA NUR DEMIRCI, then a graudate student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Onterio, was awarded funding in August 2020 to aid research on “Rescaling Family and Intimacy: Mine-Work and Aspirations through Indebtedness in Soma, Turkey,” supervised by Dr. Andrea Muehlebach. This dissertation project explores how extensive provisioning of easy bank loans reconfigures the boundaries of intimate family and solidarity among the coal miner households of Soma, an agriculturalist-turned-miner-town in the West Aegean region of Turkey. The loans Soma’s miners gain access to through regular wage-paying minework becomes the primary vehicle towards becoming “a proper man,” to be able to enjoy romantic love and to settle down in a new (nuclear) family in this mine basin. This project analyzes how such “easy bank loans” takes the shape of a tool for self-development and promise “independence” and “immunity” and, in doing so, can further provide a new neoliberal moral analytic to restructure familial obligations. This research, thus, investigates how prevalent masculinity norms, familial disillusionments, and gendered obligations become the primary objects of conversion and extraction of value under financialization. Situated at the intersection of the extractive energy industries, insecure minework in underground pits, “easy” bank loans, and the nationally forged ideal of the “independent” nuclear family, this project explores how affectively framed moral dilemmas and failures of intimacy become the main instrument to fuel extractive policies in this lignite coal basin, and further engender a venue for financial value production.