• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Feyda Sayan-Cengiz, Faika Çelik
  • Dates: June 2023

This study aims to explore women’s experiences of public spaces in İzmir from the mid 1960s to the late 1990s across the axis of generation and class, inquiring the continuities and transformations in the lives of women belonging to two consecutive generations. The study investigates the role of public spaces in the constitution of women’s experiences of the public/private distinction. Employing an intersectionality approach, the study relies on 29 in-depth interviews conducted with women of different generations and class backgrounds. The main findings of the study can be summarized as follows: 1)Second-generation interviewees’ narratives demonstrate a more confident use of diversified public spaces, when compared with the previous generation; 2) women have spoken about the “costs” of exerting their existence in the public spaces, which are related to the expectation that they fulfill domestic duties. Yet those “costs” are less daunting for upper-middle class women, who can rely on paid support; 3) the existence of public spaces that have been used by women since decades, such as İzmir International Fair, and Kemeraltı Bazaar, provide continuities in the public space experiences across generations and classes.

public sphere, public space, women’s studies, Izmir, intersectionality
Feyda Sayan-Cengiz, Faika Çelik