Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationPrinceton U.
Grant numberGr. 10517
Approve DateApril 6, 2023
Project TitleHurman, Hazal (Princeton U.) "Ethnography at the Children’s Table: Childhood and Political Anxieties in Contemporary Turkey"
Since the early 2000s, the governing Justice and Development Party of Turkey resorted to criminal prosecutions and mass incarceration as a means to contain political opposition and discipline the populace. Marked by a racialization and juvenilization of criminality, this lawfare resulted in the disproportionate penalization of children belonging to communities of racialized urban poor. This is in stark contrast to the government discourse that utilizes the figure of the child -notably Turkish- as the future of the country, ideal recipient of state social services, and the embodiment of experiential innocence. My dissertation research unfolds against the backdrop of conflicting political discourses and policies that converge, crucially, on their emphasis on childhood in Turkey. As such, and unlike the tone of these narratives, it foregrounds children’s own experiences as they intersect and diverge from the State discourse. Building on the deeply narrativized figurations of childhood in political as well as conceptual frameworks that address political belonging in and beyond Turkey, my research seeks to contribute to scholarly debates on formations of power by the terms set by those in whose name the conflicting discourses and praxes take root.