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Title: Competitive identity formation in the Turkish diaspora
Author: Thibos, Cameron Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 4619 8315
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the politics of narrative control, and how it relates to the formation of diasporic consciousness among Turkish migrants in the United States. It asks how Turkish diasporic identity is formed and shaped by discourses that frame Turks, and that interrogate who or what a ‘Turk’ is? This thesis suggests that this process of continual construction and re-construction of diasporic consciousness should be investigated as a matter of competitive identity formation, meaning that there is competition between multiple actors to impose a definition or label on a diasporic group and to achieve broad-based support for that label or definition. This also implies the attribution of specific values, ideas, and political agendas to that group. The thesis examines the roots, motivations and activities of Turkish American activists in Washington DC. Based on an analysis of their political orientations and internal fissures, it focuses on the current political debate over official recognition of the deportations and massacres of Armenians by Ottoman forces as a genocide. It argues that Turkish American activists have coalesced on the defensive around this issue, framing it as a matter critical to the identity of Turks. Their manifold activities to prevent the further institutionalisation of the ‘genocide’ label in American political discourse do not, however, always resonate with the passive majority of Turkish Americans.
Supervisor: Cohen, Robin; de Haas, Hein Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Development and Refugees (see also Sociology) ; Civil society ; Integration ; Transnationalism ; Media and Public Policy ; diasporic identity ; Turkish-American ; Armenian genocide