“Migrant Tastes and Formation of Popular Culture: The Case of Turkey”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Encina Hall West 2nd floor, Room 208
  • Orhan Tekelioğlu

In societies with continuous in-and-out migration in relatively short periods the formation of dominant culture comes into shape as "popular". Continental theories for defining people's culture mostly assume some permanent structures (cultural preferences of elites or classes) in modern societies, yet not so successful for explaining the rise of popular cultures in societies like the USA. Turkey, as a country of migratory waves from its birth, is a pristine example of such a process and unique for its elites' interventions into the cultural sphere. The talk is broadly concerns with three dynamics on the formation of Turkish popular culture - demographic transition, elitist cultural policies, and partly oppositional character of people's taste.

Orhan Tekelioğlu is Chair of Department of New Media at Bahçeşehir University (Istanbul, Turkey) and Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennyslvania’s Annenberg School of Communication.  He is a scholar of cultural sociology including such research fields as media consumption, the history of Turkish popular music, the sociological features of Turkish literature, and the cultural politics of the Republican period. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the Middle Eastern Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) and his Magisterartium degree in Sociology from the University of Oslo. He taughted in Departments of Political Science and Turkish Literature at the Bilkent University in Ankara, in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University, and acted as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Communication at the Izmir University of Economics. Dr. Tekelioğlu conducts field studies on popular television dramas and reality shows, and history of jazz and popular music in Istanbul. He has published articles in Turkish and in English and submitted papers to numerous national and international congresses. Among his publications are Pop Ekran [Pop Screen, 2013], Pop Yazılar, [Pop Essays, 2006], Foucault Sosyolojisi [Sociology of Foucault, 2003], Şerif Mardin’e Armağan, [A Festschrift for Şerif Mardin, 2005), "Modernizing reforms and Turkish music in the 1930s"  (Turkish Studies, 2001), and “Two Incompatible Positions in the Challenge Against the Individual Subject of Modernity” (Theory& Psychology, 1997).

Co-sponsored by the Mediterranean Studies Forum, Program on Urban Studies, the Europe Center, and Turkish Students Association