Perception and experience of incivility by urban youth : a field survey in Ankara
Item Usage Stats
MetadataShow full item record
There is a growing interest in studying (in)civility within the contemporary urban context due to disordered image of the city. This study focuses on incivilities resulting from daily encounters with strangers and experiences of incivility in daily life within a Turkish city context. Groups of youth around and their attitudes in urban public spaces are discussed to be the main incivil events in the social realm that prompt anxiety and unease among adult users of those spaces. In this respect, the aim of the study is to inquire different perceptions of incivility thoroughly and the ways it is perceived and experienced within the context of urban public spaces by the Turkish urban youth. First of all, the overall understanding of incivility in the Turkish urban realm is investigated through the statements of the urban youth and adults living in different neighborhoods of Ankara. Secondly, in order to explore the context dependent embodiment and locatedness of incivility as well as the role of space and physical environment, a field survey is conducted within a street context where everyday incivilities are mostly encountered. In this survey, Sakarya is chosen as the survey site concerning its significance with the variety of services and leisure activities on offer for the urban youth. The main purpose of this research is to investigate perceived and experienced incivilities and their interconnection with young people’s patterns of street use, which are expected to indicate problems in relation to social and physical environments of the street. Information on these issues was obtained through semistructured interviews and observation. The results indicate that while describing and explaining incivility, Turkish urban youth focuses on the importance of ‘respecting the norms and rules of the adult order of the society’ and the role of education and the family. They are observed to have different meanings and experiences of incivility in the street context and mostly describe and explain them in relation to the social environment. A mutual interference is found between perception and experience of incivility and the patterns of street use and young people’s attribution of meaning to the street. Likewise, variations in time of the day and gender differences among the youth appear to be influential on perception and experience of incivility on the street. Furthermore, Turkish youth is observed to be responsive to politics and social issues as well as planning and design of the urban spaces.