• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Biray Anıl Birer Yanık

  • Dates: June 2023

This study aims to understand women’s experiences of space and the innovations brought about by the modernisation process in a provincial company town in the 1950’s and 60’s from a feminist standpoint perspective. Around Değirmisaz lignite colliery, which was operated by the state until the mid-1960s, social facilities were established with the increasing population. Over time, Değirmisaz became a company town with its own unique conditions. The history of company towns in Turkey and around the world, whether designed and built or naturally formed, runs concurrently with the history of modernisation. Interpreting the process of modernisation as being the various ways in which ordinary people experience the new conditions brought about by modernity, a qualitative research was conducted from a feminist perspective and focused on how twelve women who spent their teenage years in Değirmisaz experienced these conditions in everyday life. In the narratives of women from Değirmisaz, not only interactions with consumer objects such as radios, magazines and sewing machines but also solidarity networks and homosocial practices on the periphery of the house and in sewing courses, and experiences of being in public spaces such as the cinema and train station stand out. Although hierarchical gender relations and patriarchy play a role in the modernisation experiences of women whose relations with the “outside world” are shrouded in restrictions, it is found that women have been extremely willing to experience these innovations, to respond to the conditions that restrict them through resistance and solidarity with each other.
Değirmisaz, women’s experience, company town, space, modernisation
Biray Anıl Birer Yanık