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OWING THE SEED: THE DISCURSIVE ECONOMY OF SEX MIGRATION AMONG TURKISH-SPEAKING MINORITY URBANITES IN THE POSTSOCIALIST BALKAN PERIPHERY

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This article explores postsocialist change in a non-postsocialist context. It is concerned with discourses on sex and cultural change as articulated by members of the Turkish minority group living in the northern Greek town of Komotini, in an area of northern Greece where, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, immigration from eastern Europe has risen noticeably. The impact of this migration is explored with reference to ├žapkınlık and kılıbıklık , two concepts guiding notions of masculine failure. By analyzing the relations of these to other concepts used to articulate social change (e.g., ‘tradition' and ‘modernity'), the article exemplifies how the effects of political change on the global level can be subsumed under localized power structures. The article argues that the inconsistencies between informants' physical encounters with eastern European immigrants and their discourses on ‘Russian women' show that it is their marginal location within local Greek society that is central to their identity conceptualizations. This, in turn, leads to the argument that such discourses can shed considerable light on our understanding of internal and external relations with reference to particular politicized groups, primarily because they offer an understanding of power relations, that foregrounds not one domain of difference over another, but the interplay of gender, ethnic, and economic differentiations.
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Keywords: Greece minorities; exploitation; gender discourse; sex economy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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