I am a PhD student from CRESC. I recently completed my PhD and in my PhD research, discussions on community literature and belonging literature helped me to construct my framework for some of my empirical analysis. My PhD research explores the ways in which urban policies, gentrification and socio-economic policies impact upon the class composition, housing, and patterns of belonging of different social classes in Istanbul. It analyzes the micro processes of everyday contestations and the power relations among different groups living in social-mix neighborhoods. I did my research on two neighborhoods at the Halic-Golden Horn area of Istanbul, one gentrified and one non-gentrified working class neighborhood, each of them affected by different migration flows. Unlike some of the community studies, which often consider communities to be organic and static entities, I approached these different groups (different migrant groups and different social classes) with belonging perspective which enabled me to look at the class cultures and lifestyle practices more efficiently. Belonging perspective helped me to understand the mobile and contested character of belonging and symbolic structure/references of communities. I combined the discussions on belonging and spatialization of class and used multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and qualitative interviews to investigate different belonging patterns in historical neighborhoods of Istanbul. I am interested in this workshop to participate discussions on temporal belongings and recent discussions on community research. I am also interested in using belonging perspective for transnational migration and I am also hoping to benefit from discussions on migration, studies of inclusion and exclusion.
I am Research Fellow at the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham. I work on two projects: the Real Times qualitative longitudinal study, which examines the continuity and change of third sector organisations over time, and the pilot ‘Street-Walking’ mapping project that aims to find groups and activities that go unregistered (and, subsequently, tend to be neglected in the policy field). By third sector we tend to mean a diverse range of non-profit activities undertaken beyond the market and the state, for example, by charities, social enterprises and less formal community-based groups and associations.
My doctoral thesis was on the third sector’s engagement with government employment initiatives (Sociology, University of Manchester). Before this, I worked on a three-year project that examined the extent of (funding) crises in women’s voluntary organisations. Years later, recalling the frustrations of compiling (often dated) directories in which organisations were pre-defined, I developed TSRC’s ‘Street-Walking Mapping’ pilot study to look beyond formal organisations with institutional structures (that appear on regulatory lists).
With an attempt to suspend definition and preconceived ideas of what these activities might look like, geographic boundaries were used to manage the project. As the title suggests, the project involves going out on the streets in search of (third sector) social activities and groups that use shared space – many of which may not have a name or explicit structure. Understanding community and ‘shared’ space are important features of the research, including the role of space in bringing people together and the tensions that can play out.