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Faces of the State : Secularism and Public Life in Turkey - Yael Navaro-Yashin

Faces of the State

Secularism and Public Life in Turkey

Paperback

Published: 21st April 2002
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Faces of the State is a penetrating study of the production of a state-revering political culture in the public life of 1990s Turkey. In this new contribution to the anthropology of the state, Yael Navaro-Yashin brings recent poststructuralist and psychoanalytic theory to bear on the study of the political. Delving deeper than studies of nationalist discourse that would focus on consciously articulated narratives of political identity, the author explores sites of "fantasy" in the public-political domain of Istanbul.


The book focuses on the conflict over secularism in the aftermath of an Islamist victory in the city's municipalities. In contrast with studies that would problematize and objectify religious movements, the author examines the agency of secularists under a state widely known for its "secularist" policies. The complexity and dynamism of the context studied moves well beyond scholarly distinctions between "secularity" and "religion," as well as "state" and "society." Here, secularism and Islamism emerge as different guises for a culture of statism where people from "society" compete to claim "Turkish culture" for themselves and their life practices. With this work that stretches the boundaries of regionalism, the author situates her anthropological study of Turkey not only in scholarship on the Middle East, but also in the broader problem of thinking "Europe" anew.

"A provocative and sophisticated analysis of value to regional specialists and scholars interested in the nature of the state."--Choice "Navaro-Yashin's highly innovative use of an ethnographic approach to establish evidence to support her two major arguments--concerning the shared political culture of secularists and Islamists and the regeneration of the state through the margins--is extremely successful. A welcome addition to the ethnography of Turkey, this study will be also of use to readers interested in debates on civil society, the public sphere, nationalism, and subjectivity."--Leyla Neyzi, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction Semiconscious States: The Political and the Psychic in Urban Public Lifep. 1
Entering the Cityp. 1
Secularism in Public Lifep. 6
The Turkish Astronomer and the Little Princep. 8
The Construction of "Turkish Culture"p. 10
"The Anthropology of Turkey"p. 12
The Not-Too-Native Anthropologistp. 13
Researching the Politicalp. 15
Cultural Politicsp. 17
Prophecies of Culture: Rumor, Humor, and Secularist Projections about "Islamic Public Life"p. 19
"The Native"p. 19
Tales of Nightmarep. 22
Rumor or Reality?p. 29
The Issues at Stakep. 36
The Prophecyp. 40
Public Life and the Construction of "Local Culture"p. 42
The Place of Turkey: Contested Regionalism in an Ambiguous Areap. 44
"Turkey" as Signp. 44
The History of "Region"p. 46
Beheadings in Saudi Arabiap. 51
Joining the Customs Unionp. 55
The Place of Turkeyp. 58
The Contest over "Region"p. 65
"The Middle Eastern Woman"p. 67
Undoing Area Studiesp. 73
The Market for Identities: Buying and Selling Secularity and Islamp. 78
Consuming "Culture"p. 78
The Veil as a Commodityp. 82
Secularist Commoditiesp. 85
Istanbul's New Marketplacesp. 90
The Islamist Department Storep. 94
The Trademark of Islamp. 98
The Force of Symbolsp. 107
The Market for Identitiesp. 111
State Fantasiesp. 115
Rituals for the State: Public Statism and the Production of "Civil Society"p. 117
The Soldier's Farewellp. 117
The Wrestler as Leviathanp. 122
The Flag Campaignp. 127
Does "Civil Society" Exist?p. 130
"The Transparent Reflection of Society"p. 137
"A Holiday of the People"p. 144
The Agency of "Society"p. 152
Fantasies for the State: Hype, Cynicism, and the Everyday Life of Statecraftp. 155
Does the "State" Exist?p. 155
Mundane Cynicismp. 166
The Truck That Crashed into the "State"p. 171
The Magnetism of State Crimep. 180
The Afterlife of the "State"p. 183
The Cult of Ataturk: The Apparition of a Secularist Leader in Uncanny Formsp. 188
Like a Cross That Stops the Devil . . .p. 190
"Visits to a Saint's Tomb"p. 191
Mystical Apparitionsp. 193
Calling Spiritsp. 194
Numerologyp. 195
Statues and Idolsp. 196
Heads of Statep. 199
Secularist Excessesp. 201
Notesp. 205
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 241
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691088457
ISBN-10: 0691088454
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 21st April 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 15.6 x 23.2  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.38