Boundary Work in an Era of Transformation: Television, Taste and Distinction in Turkey

Solen Sanli


This article examines Turkish television’s “woman’s voice” talk-show format, finding that it opens up a forum where women of rural backgrounds, who were formerly invisible in the Turkish public sphere, are able to voice firsthand the injustices they face in their family lives. Audience reception analysis of woman’s voice programs reveals that whereas urban viewers reject the shows as vulgar and unimportant, rural-urban migrants celebrate the programs as indicative of women’s status and thus potentially political. The article investigates the underlying causes of this difference. It argues that viewers attempt to negotiate their class position through cultural consumption, ultimately keeping the women’s rights issues that woman’s voice programs raise off the political agenda.

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