Rural Migrants and Patriarchy in Turkish Cities


This article investigates patriarchy in the context of migration to cities in Turkey. It focuses on the ways in which patriarchy reproduces itself in the lives of migrants – for example through the local community, which reproduces traditional patriarchal control in the urban context, and through the social construction of female labour within the framework of the ideology of familialism and the housewife ideology in which women’s economic contributions are devalued. Furthermore, the labour market, which offers low‐level jobs for migrant women, as well as growing concerns about moral corruption in the city, inflated by the media, act to keep women at home and inside their communities under the control of ‘their men’. The article also examines the attempts of individual migrant women to create niches for themselves in which they enjoy some autonomy and find personal meaning. This suggests a dynamic relationship between women and patriarchy. By examining the significant role of culture in reproducing patriarchy, the article contributes to a further elaboration of the concept of patriarchy developed by Walby.