Zeynel Gul

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Johns Hopkins U.

Grant number

Gr. 10001

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Gul, Zeynel (Johns Hopkins U.) "Evidence from chronicity: Law, expert knowledge, and the laboring body in Turkey"

My dissertation investigates Turkey’s medico-legal apparatus for worker health, and the recognition of occupational diseases in order to provide therapeutic care and compensation. In particular, I plan to research the processes that lead to the underdiagnosis of occupational lung diseases in Turkey. Though thousands of workers apply annually for certifications from expert hospitals to receive compensation for their work-related symptoms in Turkey, only a small percentage of applicants is granted these certificates. Unlike occupational accidents where causality is evident because of the specificity of the time and space in which the accident occurs, occupational disease unfolds over many years, and its diagnosis traverses a cluster of ambiguities along multiple institutions and social actors involved in the documentary processes. By way of ethnographic research on the pathways of patients with occupational lung diseases across multiple sites, this project will examine the production of evidence on the slow-moving effects of occupational diseases at the intersection of expert hospitals, labor courts, family and workplace in Turkey. Addressing current debates on law, evidence, risk, medical anthropology, and labor, I hypothesize that the dispersed production of the afflicted worker body across diagnostic pathways may destabilize the causal links between workers’ symptoms and their works.