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The Use of Cultural Repertoires of Everyday Nationhood and Citizenship in National Identity Boundary-drawing

A Case Study of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Published onAug 29, 2022
The Use of Cultural Repertoires of Everyday Nationhood and Citizenship in National Identity Boundary-drawing

Elaborating on salient contextual factors, such as historical conditions, national history, militarized masculinity, and language, this study looks at how repertoires of everyday nationhood are deployed in relation to boundary-drawing in the context of the recent refugee influx in Turkey. Drawing on ethnographic observations, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with ordinary Turkish citizens in Adana, this paper sheds light on the complexities of everyday understandings of citizenship and nationhood with regards to the emergence of ‘insider versus outsiders’ notions. Results suggest that ordinary citizens evoke various notions of nationhood in everyday life in drawing boundaries against ‘outsiders’ (i.e. refugees) by deploying historically rooted national identity constructions (militaristic, unitary) and symbols (language, flag). This article, therefore, reveals a national identity boundary-drawing mechanism involving widespread adherence to a militarized sense of nationhood, related more to other ideas of belonging than ethnicity. It further indicates that ordinary citizens, in their narratives, link such constructions and symbols with historical and current political contexts (e.g. the conflict between Turks and Arabs during WW1, or; current military operations against Syria).

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