Dissertation Abstracts

Transforming Constraints into Strategies: The Role of Different Forms of Capital in the Status Passage of Documented Iranian Migrants in Ankara, Turkey

Author: Yasemin Akis Kalaylioglu, yaseminakis@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Supervisor: Helga Rittersberger-Tilic
Year of completion: 2016
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Iranian migrants , Status passage , Capital , Turkey
Areas of Research: Migration , Education , Social Classes and Social Movements


This thesis focuses on the documented (regular) migration experiences of Iranians in Ankara, Turkey by drawing upon the sociological conceptual tools of Pierre Bourdieu. The aim of this study is to understand, first of all, whether Turkey can be considered as a good destination for documented migration from the perspective of Iranian migrants. The author raises the question of why Iranians leave their home country, and what it is that they are looking for in the host society, which in this study is conceptualized as a "better life and lifestyle". Secondly, and more importantly, this study attempts to comprehend the roles of different forms of capital (economic, cultural, social and symbolic) and developed strategies in the "status passage" processes of documented Iranian migrants while they search for a better life and lifestyle. To achieve these aims, the study focuses on two different groups of Iranian migrants in Ankara, being temporary Iranian students and permanent settled Iranians, which allowed a comparison of their objectives, expectations and achieved goals in the host society. After analyzing the educational and occupational incorporation of documented Iranians into the host society, along with the transformation process of their constraints into strategies, the study attempts to comprehend the dispositions of the respondents within the "Iranian habitus" in Ankara to answer the question of whether Turkey fulfilled their expectations as a destination country, and on what basis.

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