Formulation of Semahs in relation to the question of Alevi identity in Turkey
MetadataTüm öğe kaydını göster
Dinçer, Fahriye. Formulation of Semahs in relation to the question of Alevi identity in Turkey. İstanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Atatürk İlkeleri ve İnkılap Tarihi Enstitüsü, 2004.
Semahs are the ritual dances of the Alevis, a heterodox, ethnically diverse religious community in Turkey. This dissertation concentrates on different reformulations of semahs in relation to the reconstruction processes of the Alevi identity since the establishment of the Republic. While the religious belief of the community differentiated from the legitimate state religion, the ethnic/linguistic identity of the non-Turkish speaking Alevi groups contradicted the legitimate national identity as well. These factors pointed at a space where the identity question of the group would be contested and negotiated by intentional actors both from within and outside the community in the last eighty years. In this process, the semah appeared as a religious and/or cultural component of the Alevi rituals, which has been maintained, transformed and manipulated in relation to the reconstructed Alevi identities. After an analysis of the history of the Alevi identity, this dissertation focuses on the texts and oral narratives about semahs, and the semah performances presented in the public sphere. Subjected to a critical-comparative analysis, the critical question emerged on how the semah appeared to represent the identity of the community, or have been reformulated together with the reconstructed Alevi identity. Since the essentialist approaches from which this study distances itself is appropriated in almost all of the narratives, their analysis paved the way for the conceptualization of how semah is utilized as a representative of the Alevi identity. On the other hand, in parallel with the conceptual framework that accepts the semah as a component through which the identity is constituted, these narratives and the popular semahs performances are re-analyzed to arrive at conclusions about the Alevi identity that has been constructed in each period. These periods are specified as 1920-1950, 1950-1980 and 1980-2000 in relation to the social, economic, political and cultural developments that took place in Turkey and affected the lives and the identity formation of the Alevis.
- Tez