Differentiating faiths: strategies of intra-group and inter-group boundary making among Alevis in Turkey
Embargo Lift Date: 2023-02-09
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The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between inter-group and intra-group boundary making strategies through a study of Alevi civil society organizations in Turkey. This study argues that to mobilize and deliver services to members of the Alevi community in a Sunni majority society, Alevi civil society organizations utilize two different boundary making strategies: 1) They construct and maintain intra-group Alevi boundaries to differentiate themselves from other Alevi organizations; 2) They construct and maintain inter-group boundaries with Sunnis to differentiate themselves from the majority community and organizations in Turkey. This research aims to find the extent to which these two distinct types of boundary making strategies are interlinked. The study utilizes the boundary making approach to analyze the strategies of the two groups. By focusing on the boundary making framework this study aims at investigating how the intra-group boundary making strategies could be applied and linked to inter-group boundary making processes. Hence, this research specifically looks at the link between these two processes, what I refer to as “the dual boundary making process.” Therefore, the research question that this dissertation aims to investigate is: “How boundary making strategies and debates are constructed within in-group Alevi civil society organizations influence the inter-group relationship between Alevis and Sunnis?” The study aims to contribute to the literature by analyzing the interlinkages between intra-group and inter-group processes while also contributing to the literature on Alevi civil society organizations in Turkey by presenting a novel frame for understanding how separate Alevi organizations differentiate themselves from each other and from Sunnis.