Systems, Structure, and Agency in Modern Turkish Society

By Suzette Bryan.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In an effort to “modernize” Turkish society shortly after World War I, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk instituted a number of reforms designed to encourage the separation of religion and government. Although he did not ban the wearing of the hijab, a headscarf traditionally worn by many Muslim women, he encouraged Western style dress. Today Turkish women cannot attend public schools or public universities while wearing the hijab. In many parts of Turkey the wearing of the hijab is associated with a lack of education, often limiting opportunities for women who select this style of dress. While their grandmothers and great-grandmothers had little choice as to the wearing of this traditional Muslim garb, many well-educated, thoughtful 21st century Turkish women have consciously and purposefully selected this type of dress. Structuration Theory, particularly the construct of Agency, will be used to provide a framework for understanding these personal decisions that have the potential to change the manner in which religion and secular society intersect.

Keywords: Hijab, Structuration Theory, Agency, Turkish Society

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.185-198. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 656.493KB).

Dr. Suzette Bryan

Interim Department Head, Communication Department, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana, USA

Suzette Plaisance Bryan, Ph.D., SPHR, is Interim Department Head of the Southeastern Louisiana University Communication Department and has served as visiting professor at Louisiana State University and Tulane University. She teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Organizational Communication, including Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication Theory, Leadership Theory, Public Speaking, Research Methods, and other courses. She is certified by the Hay Institute in the utilization of the Emotional Competency Inventory and has presented at numerous conferences and workshops including the 2008 International Conference for Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Bryan is president of Innovative Communication Consulting, an organizational development company. She is co-author of the book “Scripts and Communication for Relationships” scheduled for publication by Cresskill Press. Her research interests include physiological indicators of stress associated with specific communication contexts.


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