Music as a Resource for Drawing Symbolic Boundaries within the Turkish Diaspora in Germany

Ali Türünz


The paper presents the findings of an ethnographic study of five Turkish music choirs
from Hamburg from the perspective of cultural sociology, focused on the meaning-making process.
Following Andy Bennett, music is regarded as a resource, and then it is scrutinized how Turkish
immigrants make sense of their lives through music. The research is based on the qualitative analysis of indepth,
semi-structured interviews with choir members from Hamburg. The paper elaborates on how choir
members use music as a resource to draw internal symbolic boundaries within the Turkish community.
Participants draw symbolic boundaries against the majority of the Turkish population living in Germany.
On the basis of the distinction they make between refined music and the uncultured music exemplified,
choir members deliberately create a number of sacred and profane binaries in the Durkheimian sense.

Klíčová slova

Turks in Germany; Turkish music; migration; symbolic boundaries; arabesk

Plný Text:

Mobi (English) ePub (English)


Zobrazit literaturu Skrýt literaturu

Alexander, Jeffrey C. 1990. “Analytic Debates: Understanding the Relative Autonomy of Culture.” Pp. 1−30 in Culture and Society: Contemporary Debates, edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander and Steven Seidman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Alexander, Jeffrey C. 2003. “The Sacred and Profane Information Machine.” Pp. 179−192 in The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology by Jeffrey C. Alexander. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Alexander, Jeffrey C. and Philip Smith. 2003. “The Strong Program in Cultural Sociology: Elements of a Structural Hermeneutics.” Pp. 11−26 in The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology by Jeffrey C. Alexander. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bartmanski, Dominik and Jeffrey C. Alexander. 2012. “Introduction: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life: Toward an Iconic Turn in Cultural Sociology.” Pp. 1−12 in Iconic Power: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life, edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander, Dominik Bartmanski and Bernhard Giesen. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 1987. Legislators and Interpreters: On Modernity, Post-Modernity and Intellectuals. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Berghahn, Daniela. 2011. “‘Seeing Everything with Different Eyes’: The Diasporic Optic in Fatih Akin’s Head-On (2004).” Pp. 235−252 in New Directions in German Cinema, edited by Paul Cooke and Chris Homewood. London: I.B. Tauris.

Bennett, Andy. 2015. “Identity: Music, Community, and Self.” Pp. 143−151 in The Routledge Reader on the Sociology of Music, edited by John Shepherd and Kyle Devine. New York: Routledge.

Bohnsack, Ralf and Arnd-Michael Nohl. 2003. “Youth Culture as Practical Innovation: Turkish-German Youth, Time Out and the Actionisms of Breakdance.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 6(3): 366−385.

Bohnsack, Ralf. 2010. “Documentary Method and Group Discussion.” Pp. 99−124 in Qualitative Analysis and Documentary Method, edited by Ralf Bohnsack, Nicolle Pfaff and Wivian Weller. Leverkusen Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 2010. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. New York: Routledge.

Charmaz, Kathy. 2006. Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis. London: SAGE Publications.

Demiralp, Seda. 2012. “White Turks, Black Turks? Faultlines Beyond Islamism versus Secularism.” Third World Quarterly 33(3): 511−524.

Douglas, Mary. 1966. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London: Routledge.

Geertz, Clifford. 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.

Hammersley, Martyn and Paul Atkinson. 2007. Ethnography: Principles in Practice. New York: Routledge.

Kirikkanat, Mine. 2005. “Halkımız Eğleniyor.” [Our People are Having Fun]. 27 Jul. Radikal.

Küçükkaplan, Uğur. 2013. Arabesk: Toplumsal ve Müziksel Bir Analiz [Arabesk: A Social and a Musical Analysis]. Istanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.

Lamont, Michele. 1992. Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and American Upper-Middle Class. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Öncü, Ayşe. 1999. “Istanbulites and Others: The Cultural Cosmology of ‘Middleness’ in the Era of Neo-Liberalism.” Pp. 95−119 in Istanbul between the Global and the Local, edited by Çağlar Keyder. New York: St. Martins.

Özbek, Meral. 1991. Popüler Kültür ve Orhan Gencebay Arabeski [Popular Culture and the Arabesk of Orhan Gencebay]. Istanbul: İletişim.

Simic, Marina. 2010. “Locating Cosmopolitanism: Practicing Popular Culture in Post-Socialist Serbia.” Der Donauraum 50 (3−4): 325−343.

Spillman, Lyn. 2002. “Introduction: Culture and Cultural Sociology.” Pp 1−15 in Cultural Sociology, edited by Lyn Spillman. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Stokes, Martin. 1992. The Arabesk Debate: Music and Musicians in Modern Turkey. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stokes, Martin. 1994. “Introduction: Ethnicity, Identity, and Music.” Pp. 1−27 in Ethnicity, Identity, and Music: The Musical Construction of Place, edited by Martin Stokes. Oxford: Berg.

Stokes, Martin. 2000. “East, West, and Arabesk.” Pp. 213−233 in Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music, edited by Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Zerubavel, Eviatar. 1997. Social Mindscapes: An Invitation to Cognitive Sociology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.