A tale of two fears: negotiating trust and neighborly relations in urbanizing Turkey
Journal of Contemporary European Studies
Taylor and Francis
322 - 334
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Using a Turkish empirical case, we show how trust is negotiated among rural-to-urban migrant women as a result of their move from informal housing where they lived clustered with other migrant women, sharing their personal lives (arguably expressing and facilitating high trust), to apartment buildings where it requires life to be shared with a diverse group of residents (rural/urban, religious sectarian, ethnic) and where they are expected to live individualistic lives. Given this socio-spatial transformation, we suggest trusting is understood and experienced by migrant women, as an on-going relational process of negotiating two competing fears to (1) not be alone; and (2) not be harmed by the people they risk/desire to be close to (physically and emotionally). This is significant for migrant women whose conservative values and way of life relies heavily on other women in close proximity to them (i.e. neighbors) for emotional and material support in the rhythm of daily life. This is further complicated by also needing to negotiate competing group identities – part and parcel to neighborly relations in polarized societies like Turkey. The process of trusting, we suggest, entails an on-going relational risk assessment/negotiation through knowing, visiting and sharing over time (in material and emotional ways).
Gender and space