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Poor Ottoman Turkish women during World War I : women’s experiences and politics in everyday life, 1914-1923

Abstract : This dissertation examines the social impact of World War I in the Ottoman Empire on ordinary poor Turkish women and their everyday response to the adverse wartime conditions and the state policies concerning them. Based on new archival sources giving detailed information about the voice, experience and agency of these women and based on the history from below approach, this study focuses on poor, underprivileged and working Turkish women’s everyday experiences, especially their struggle against and perception of wartime conditions, mobilization and state policies about them. By doing so, it contributes to filling the great gap in late Ottoman historiography and women’s studies, which rarely examine ordinary women and their everyday problems and struggles for survival and rights. First, it scrutinizes how ordinary women experienced the war and argues that, in contrast to the modernization accounts that overlook women’s sufferings at the cost of post-war developments in women’s rights and liberties, ordinary Turkish women had great difficulties during the war years. It presents a major caveat to the accounts accepting the war years as a period during which Turkish women monolithically experienced a gradual liberty and « emancipation. » Second, it brings the unexamined forms and aspects of women’s critical and subjective views, their everyday politics to circumvent the adverse conditions and state policies, to make their voices heard, to pursue their rights, and to receive government support into the light.
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Ikbal Elif Mahir-Metinsoy. Poor Ottoman Turkish women during World War I : women’s experiences and politics in everyday life, 1914-1923. History. Université de Strasbourg, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012STRAG004⟩. ⟨tel-01885891⟩

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