• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Selda TUNÇ SUBAŞİ

  • Dates: 1 June 2020

In 2000s, Turkey witnessed both a growing number of universities in small rural cities and neoliberalization of universities. Turkey’s small-city universities are primarily a device to boost local economies by creating new demands based on small-town students’ limited mobility. As new consumption styles spread from major cities to smaller ones, forms of celebration gained distinct social and cultural characteristics, reflecting small-town students’ different styles articulated with local dynamics. In this study, a new celebration style in a conservative cultural atmosphere is discussed in the context of female homosociability. Using an ethnographic method this study analyzed female students’s leisure experiences. I interviewed 35 female undergraduate students using semi-structured interview method and joined in one of the graduation henna parties organized by female students. Female students who join the graduation henna, extend their mobility to city centre that is normally limited to houses and dorms. This experience of the public space through celebration is a new form of gathering that merges online and offline interactions. Female students who want to be exempt from the masculine gaze, have a novel homosocial experience by dancing freely and having fun at the graduation henna. This celebration is constructed in a collective manner and every stage of the entertainment is carried out without an institutional surveillance.

Graduation henna, homosociality, popular youth culture, entertainment, female students


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