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Title: Dwelling encounters : migration, diversity and ambivalence in an Istanbul neighborhood
Author: Biehl, Kristen Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5197 7305
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is about processes and lived experiences of inhabiting urban contexts deeply and continuously impacted by migration driven population changes. It builds on an ethnographic study of a neighbourhood in Istanbul known as Kumkapı, which over recent decades has emerged as a zone of arrival and initial settlement for successive new waves of migrants coming from an ever more expanding geography. Consequently, today it stands as one of Istanbul's most diverse residential neighbourhoods, with its population differentiated on innumerable fronts including ethnicity, religion, race, gender and age composition, legal rights and statuses, migration channels and intentions, employment opportunities, and the like. In this dissertation I apply a novel theoretical approach drawing on the concept of dwelling for understanding how residents of Kumkapı relate to their environment and make sense of it. I propose three lines of argument that unfold sequentially through the organizing structure of the thesis. Firstly, I argue that comprehending urban contexts of migration driven diversity through a dwelling lens allows one to recognize the different temporalities that are at play in shaping the present moment. There are multiple pasts and futures inhabiting the present, shaping material forms, daily rhythms, systems of differentiation, and socialization patterns. Secondly, I argue that a dwelling lens positions the private sphere at the centre of diversification processes and recognizes space beyond its containing capacities. The ethnography explores the diverse reasons, conditions and temporalities of inhabiting Kumkapı today and how this diversity in turn leads to a breadth of residential practices. Thirdly, I argue that dwelling in urban contexts of migration driven diversity is very often characterized by a deep sense of ambivalence and continuous acts of balancing to cope with these conflicting factors simultaneously infringing upon people's lives. In building these arguments, the thesis draws together migration and urban research both within and outside anthropology in a novel way, while also contributing to scholarly debates on various themes including, home and housing, ethnicity, race, gender, informality and conviviality.
Supervisor: Keith, Michael ; Duvell, Franck Sponsor: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity ; Foundation for Urban and Regional Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban studies ; Anthropology ; Migration studies